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Full text of "First report of the Royal Commission on Opium : with Minutes of evidence and appendices"

ASIA 

LIBRARY 

ANNEX 



2 






OJnrncU llntuerBity ilibratj} 

3tl)ara, Krm fork 

CHARLES WILLIAM WASON 
COLLECTION 

CHINA AND THE CHINESE 



THE GIFT OF 
CHARLES WILLIAM WASON 
CLASS OF 1876 
1918 



CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 





1924 073 053 849 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924073053849 



KOYAL COMMISSION ON OPIUM. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE 



TAKEN BEFORE THE 



ROYAI. COMMISSION .0^ . OPIUM 



'r 

BETWEEN / 




18th November and 29th December 1893 ; 



WITH 



APPENDICES. 



VOL. II. 



^ve&enWa to ttot^ i!^ou!se0 of Parliament t^ drommanO of ^ev Mm^tvi^ 




LONDON- 

FEINTED FOR HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE, 

BY EYRE AND SPOTTISWOODE, 

PRINTEKS TO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY. 



And to be purchased, either directly or through any Bookseller, from 
EYRE AND SPOTTISWOODE, East Harding Street, Fleet Street, E.G., and 
32, Abingdon Street, Westminster, S,W. ; or 

JOHN MENZIES & Co., 12, Hanover Street, Edinbiirgh, and 
90, West Nile Street, Glasgow ; or 

HODG-ES, FIGGIS, & Co., Limited, 104, Graeton Street, Dublin. 



1894. 
[0,-7397.] Frice 6s. 3d. 



ROYAL COMMISSION ON OPIUM. 



VOL. II. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN IN INDIA BETWEEN 18th NOVEMBER 
AND 29th DECEMBER 1893, WITH APPENDICES. 



TABLE OE CONTENTS. 



LIST OF WITNESSES. 



1893. 



Page 



JSTOYEMBER 18lH, SEVENTH Day's EVIDENCE : — 

The Hon. Sir David M. Barbour 2-11 

Surgeon-Major-General Eice 11-15 

NOVEMBEK 20lH, ElGHTH Day's EVIDENCE : — 

Bishop J. M. Thoburn - 15-21 

Mr. J. G. Alexander 21-26 

ISTovEMBEE 21si, Ninth Day's Evidence : — 

Mr. J. G. Alexander (further examined) 26-38 

NovEMBEB 22^1, Tenth Day's Evidence : — 

The Eev. W. B. Phillips 38-43 

Mr. Sita Nath Eoy - 43-46 

NovEMEEK 23kd, Ej:,eventh Day's Evidence : — 

The Eev. T.' Evans - 46-51 

Mr J. H. Eivett-Carnac 51-59 

NovEMBEB, 24th", Twelpth Day's Evidence: — 

Mr. J. F. Einlay - - 59-60 

Mr. Earn Durlabh Mazumdar - 60-63 

The Hon. D. E. Lyall - 63-67 

Mr. J. L. Hopkins - - 67-69 

Surgeon-Captain E. P. Maynard 69-70 

NOVEMBEK 20TH, ThISTEENTH DaY'S EVIDENCE : — 

Surgn.-Ool. E. Harvey - - - 70-75 
Surgn.-Lieut.-Col. A. Crombie - - 75-81 
Surgn.-Lieut.-Col. O'Brien - - 81-82 
Surgn.-Lieut.-Ool. F. P. McConnell 82-83 
Surgn.-Lieut.-Col. E. C. Sanders - - 83 
Brigade-Surgn.-Lieut.-Col. Purves - 83-84 
Surgn.-Lieut.-Col. E. G. Eussell - 84 
Surgn.-Major E. Oobb, M.D. - 84-85 
Surgn.-Captain J. H. Tnll "Walsh - 85-86 
Surgn.-Lieut.-Col. Crombie (further ex- 
amined) - - . - 86 
Mr. J. G. Alexander (further examined) - ib. 

November 28th, Foubteenth Day's Evidence : — 

Dr. Kailas Chunder Bose - - 87-9i} 

Dr. Juggo Bundo Bose - - 90-92 

Dr. Surji Ooomar Snrbadhicari - 92-93 

Dr. Hira Lall Ghose - - - 94-96 

Miss L. Hamilton - - - 96-97 

Eai Bahadur Kanny Lall Day - 97-99 

Mr. Khurgeshur Bose - - - 99-100 

November 29th, Fipteenth Day's Evidence : — 

Dr. D. Morison - - . . 100-105 

Dr. G. E. Ferris - 105-108 
Kabirajes Ganga Prasad Sen Gupta, 
Bijaya Eatna Sen, and Peary Mohun 

Sen 108-109 

November 30th, Sixteenth Day's Evidence : — 

Mr. Sudam Oh under Naik - 110-112 

Mr. Gouree Sunkur Eoy - - 112-113 

Mr. Bhagban Chunder Dass - 113-114 

Dr. Earn Moy Eoy - - 114-117 

Dr. James Robert Wallace - 117-121 

Mr. K. G. Gupta - - 121-122 
IT 81300. Wt. P. 2150. 



Page 



December 1st, Seventeenth Day's Evidence : — 
The Hon. D. E. Lyall (further ex- 
amined) - - - - 
Mr. K. G. Gupta (further examined) 
Mr. E. V. Westmaoott 
The Hon. Sir John Lambert 
Mr. F. Wilcox 
Mr. H. Dawson 

December 5Tn, Eighteenth Day's Evidence : — 

Mr. J. F. Pinlay (further examined) - 132- 

The Hon. A. 8. Lethljridge - 135- 

Sir Edward Buck - - - 189- 

The Maharaja of Dinajpur 

December Ctpi, Nineteenth Day's Evidence : — 

Mr. H. S. Howard - - - 142- 

Mr. Shrager 143- 

Mr. A. E. J. Abraham - - 144- 

Mr. E. M. Cohen - 145- 

Messrs. Lin Sin Khoon, lyak, Eap Ate, 

Pin Ten, Assowi ... 

December 7th, Twentieth Day's Evidence : — 
Mr. J. Muuro 
Mr. S. M. Gibbon 
Mr. S. E. Peal 
Mr. J. Wilson 
Mr. W. H. Eyland 
Mr. D. Zemin - 
Mr. T. N. Mukharji 

December 8th, TwENiy-riRsi Day's Evidence :■ 
Mr. E. Steel 
Mr. W. H. Chentham 

Mr. F. Schiller .... 
Mr. Nil Eatan Sircar 
Mr. Heramba Chandra Maitra 
Mr. H. M. Eustomjee 
Mr. Nil Oomul Mookerjee 
Eai Sheo Bux Bogla Bahadur 

December 9r]i, Twenty-second Day's E^tcdence : — 
(ct.) Calcutta Section — 
Maharaja Bahadur Sir Narendra Krishna 
Maharaja Durga Churn Law 
Maharaja Sir Jotendro Mohun Tagore 
Eaja Peary Mohun Mookerjee 
Eai Eajkumar Sarvadhikari 
Babu Saligram Singh 
Dr. Mahendra Lall Sircar 
The Hon. Gonesh Chunder Chnnder 
Mr. J. P. Howett - 
(J.1 Eangoon Section — 
Mr. C. G. Bayne 

Decemaer Hid. Twenty-third Day's Evidence : — 
Mr. A. M. B." Irwin - 183 

Surgn.-Major P. W. Dalzell 186 

Mr. G. L. Weidemann - 188 

SurgQ. -Captain Davis - - 191- 

Capt. G. E. MacMullen - - 192- 

Mr. F. Bradley 193 

Mr. C. Findlay - - 19* 



123 
123-127 
127-131 

131 
131-132 

a. 



135 
138 
141 
142 

143 
■144 
■145 
•146 

146 

■150 
-152 
-155 
-156 
-158 
158 
-159 

•161 
-162 

162 
•165 
■166 
•167 
.168 
169 



147- 
150- 
153- 
165- 
156- 

158- 

160- 
161- 

162- 
165- 
166- 
167- 
168- 



169- 
171- 

172- 

174- 
176- 
178- 



170 
172 
172 
174 
174 
176 
178 
•179 
179 



180-183 



-186 
-188 
-191 
-19i; 
■193 
-194 
■195 



IV 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

Decembek 12th, TwENTY-roTjETH Day's EviDBitOE : — 

The Eev. Dr. Cushing - 195-198 

Mr. Cheng Talk - - - l'.i8--200 

Mr. Park Chan 200 

Mr. Ah Nam 200-201 

Mr. Tan Kyu - 201 

Mr. Sit Kamig *. 

Mr. Sit Hon - 202 

Mr. Knm Loang H. 

Mr. Ah Chew - - ii. 

Decembek 13th, TwENTY-riETH Day's Bvidesce : — 

Mr. P. M. Madooray Pillay 203-204 

Maung Hpo Hniyin, K.S.M. 204-206 

The Sawbwa of Thibaw - - 206-207 

Surgn. -Lieut. -Col. Hugh Johnstone 207-208 

Mr. Leong Shian Tuck - - 208-209 

Decembek 15th, Twenty-sixth Day'.s Evidence : — 

Surgn. -Major Dantra - - - 21)9-212 

Mr. J. B. Bridges - - 212-214 

Mr. Law Tan - 214 

Mr. Sidney Jennings - 214-216 

Haji Shanishuddin 216 

Mr. Yang Eu and Mr. San Tu - - 216-217 

The Eev. M. B. Kirkpatrick - 217-221 

Decembek 16ih, Twenty-seventh Day's Evidence : — 

Saw Maung, Ex-Sawbwa of Nyaungywe - 221-222 

Earn Swe, Amatgyok of Southern Theinn 222-223 

Mr. F. K. Bagley - - 223-224 

Mr. H. S. Guinness 224-225 

Maung Aung Min - - - 225 

December 19th, Twenty-eighth Day's Evidence : — 

Mr. D. M. Smeaton - 225-240 

Mr. Kum Low Eong - - 240 

Mr. E. W. R. Fryer - - - 240-242 

December 20th, Twenty -ninth Day's Evidence: — 

Mr. Abul Fazl Mahomed Abdur Rahman - 242-244 
Prince Jahan Eadar Mirza Mahomed 
Wahid Ali Bahadur, the Hon. Manlvi 
Abdul Jubbar, Khan Bahadur, Shamsnl 
Ulama Maulvi Ahmad, and Maulvi 

Syud Muhammad Khan Bahadur - 245-247 
Prince Wala Kadar Syed Hussein Ali 

Mirza Bahadur - - 247 
Su]a-ul-Mulk Asaf-ud-Dowlah Nawab 
Syed Zainul Abdin Khan Bahadur 

Feroz Jung ... it. 



J?age 

December 20th, TwE>-Ty-xixTH Day's Evidence: — 
{continued) . 
Mr. Dwarkanath Ganguli - - 248 

Mr. Krishna Kumar Mittra 249 

The Rev. K. S. MacDonald - 249-253 

Nawab Syud Ameer Hossein - 263-3.54 

December 21st, Tiiibti;:th Day's Evidence:— 
' The Hon. D. E. Lyall (further ex- 
amined) - - 254-255 
Eai Lai Madhub Mookerjee, Bahadur 255-258 

December 22nd, Thirty-eirst Day's Emdenoe:— 
Mr. Krishna Kumar Mittra (further ex- 
amined) 259-261 
Mr. J. J. S. Driberg - 261-262 
Mr. Upendro Nath Barooah 262-264 
Mr. Goonabhiram Barooah 265-266 
Mr. Trinoyan Barkakoti - 2G6 
Mr. Haribalas Agarwala - - - 266-267 

December 23rd, Thirty-second Day's Evidence : — 
Mr. Dwarkanath Ganguli (further ex- 
amined) - - - 267-269 
Mr. Kali Sankur Sukul - - 269-271 
Mr. W. Eaju Naidu - - 271-272 
Mr. S. Somasundram Pillai 272-274 

December 27th, Thirty-third Day's Evidence : — 

Mr. J. J. S. Driberg (further examined) 275-280 
Mr. J. D. Anderson 280-282 

Surgn.-Major Edwin F. H. Dobson 282-285 

December 28th, THiMrY-EOURTH Day's Evidence : — 

Mr. J. J. S. Driberg (further examined) 286 

Mr. Satyanath Borah - 286-288 

Mr. Jadab Chundra Ghose - 288 

Mr. Lalit Mohun Lahiri 288-291 

Mr. R. C. Haviland 291-293 

Mr. B. P. E. Gilman - ... 293-294 

Mr. Ernest Bridge - 294-296 

Mr. Jagannath Barooah - 296-299 

Babu Mohendra Nath Phukan SOO 

December 29th, Thirty -tipih Day's Evidence : — 

Mr. J. J. S. Driberg (further examined) - 300-301 

Munshi Eahamat AU - - 301-302 

Babu Madhav Chandra Bardalai - 302-305 

Mr. Eadhanath Changkakoti - - 305-308 

Dr. James L. Phillips - 308-311 

Mr. Atool Krishna Datta - - 311-312 

Mr. J. J. S. Driberg (further examined) - 312 



LIST OF APPENDICES. 



Page 
I. Memorial presented to the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor of Bengal by 
the British Indian Association, 
dated 23rd August 1893 313 

II. Memorial presented to the Vice- 
roy and Governor-General of 
India in Council, dated 21st 
September 1893, by the Calcutta 
Missionary Conference - - 314-315 

III. Note by the Hon. D. E. Lyall, 

dated 16th November 1893, on 
the memorial presented by the 
Calcutta Missionary Conference, 
dated Sl.-^t September 1893 316-318 

IV. Reply, dated 27th November 1893, 

of the Calcutta Misssionary 
Conference, to Mr. Lyall'a note 
of 16th November 1893 - 318-319 

V. Note on the supply of opium by 
Mr. J. H. Rivett-Carnac, Opium 
Agent of the Benares Agency -19-335 
VI. Map to show the extent of the 
cultivation and outturn of opium 
in the Behar Agency, handed in 
by Mr. J. H. Rivett-Carnac, 
Opium Agent of the Benares 
Agency ... - 337-338 

VII. Map to show the extent of the 
cultivation and outturn of opium 
in the Benares Agency, handed 
in by Mr. J. H. Rivett-Carnac, 
Opium Agent of the Benares 
Agency . - . . 339-340 



Page. 
VIII. Statement showing the amount of 
the opium revenue, handed in 
by Mr. Finlay, Secretary to the 
Government of India, Finance 
and Commerce Department - 341-344 

IX. Note headed " Opium produced 
or consumed in India," handed 
in by Mr. Finlay, Secretary 
to the Government of India, 
Finance and Commerce Depart- 
ment - - 344-354 

X. Note headed " Arrangements 
with Native States regarding 
opium," handed in by Mr.Finlay, 
Secretary to the Government 
of India, Finance and Commerce 
Department - . . 354-370 

XL Account of previous proposals for 
abolishing the Government 
monopoly of the cultivation, 
manufacture, and sale of opium 
in Bengal, handed in by Mr. 
Finlay, Secretary to the Go- 
vernment of India, Finance and 
Commerce Department - - 371-383 

XII. Report of Consul Spence, dated 
11th April 1893, handed in by 
Mr. Finlay, Secretary to the 
Government of India, Finance 
and Commerce Department - 383-388 



CONTENTS. 



389-391 



392-397 



397-398 



398 



Page. 

XIII. Statement showing exports of 

opium from India to China and 
other foreign countries since 
1855-56, handed in by Mr. 
Finlay, Secretary to the Go- 
Ternment of India, Finance and 
Commerce Department - 

XIV. Papers regarding the consumption 

and preparation of opium in 
unlicensed places in the North- 
"Western Provinces and Gudh, 
handed in by Mr. Finlay, 
Secretary to the GoTernment 
of India, Finance and Com- 
merce Department 

Xy. Papers regarding the visit of Mah 
Kie Tehong to India in 1881, 
handed in by Mr. Finlay, Secre- 
tary ^ to the Government of 
India, Finance and Commerce 
Department 

XVI. Statement of advances to culti- 
vators of opium, handed in by 
Mr. Finlay, Secretary to the 
Government of India, Finance 
and Commerce Department 

XVII. Extract from a joint note pre- 
sented to the Famine Com- 
mission by Mr. Elliott (now 
Sir Charles) and Mr. (now Sir 
Edward) Buck, handed in by 
Sir Edward Buck, Secretary to 
the Government of India, Re- 
venue and Agricultural Depart- 
ment - - - 

XVIII. Map to illustrate opium cultiva- 
tion in British India, handed in 
by Sir Edward Buck, Secretary 
to the Government of India, 
Revenue and Agricultural De- 
partment . - - . 

XIX. Map to show the comparative den- 
sity of the population in British 
India, handed in by Sir Edward 
Buck, Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of India, Revenue and 
Agricultural Department 

XX. Tables of analysis of opium, 
handed in by Surgeon- Captain 
Maynard . - . 

XXI. Supplement to the " Indian Medi- 
cal Gazette " for July 1892 

XXII. Brief historical sketch of the law 
and rules regarding the supply 
and sale of excise opium in 
Lower Bengal, handed in by 
Mr. K. G. Gupta, Commissioner 
of Excise, Bengal 426-426 

XXIII. A short account of the system 

under which excise opium is 
sold in the Lower Provinces of 
Bengal, handed in by Mr. K. G. 
Gupta, Commissioner of Excise, 
Bengal - - 426-435 

XXIV. " Opiuni-eating " by the late Dr. 

Vincent Richards (extracted 
from the " Indian Medical Ga- 
zette " of August 1877) - 436-437 

XXV. Memorial to the Chairman from 
the clergy of the Church of 
England in Calcutta, received 
from the Lord Bishop of Cal- 
cutta - - - 438 

XXVI. Letter from Archbishop Goethals 
received from the Secretary 
to the Government of India, 
Finance and Commerce De- 
partment - - - - ib. 

XXVII. Letter from the Bengal Chamber 
of Commerce received from the 
Secretary to the Government 



398-399 



401-402 



- 403-404 

406-406 
407-425 



of Bengal 



439-452 



Page. 
XXVIII. Correspondence regarding the 
supply of opium to native 
troops on field service - - 452-453 

XXIX. Supplementary statement handed 
in by Mr. K. G. Gupta, Com- 
missioner of Excise, Bengal - 454 

XXX. Historical account of the adminis- 
tration of Opium in Assam, 
handed in by Mr. Driberg, 
Commissioner of Excise in 
Assam ... - 454-465 

XXXI. Note by Mr. Driberg on the Pro- 
vincial system of Excise in 
Assam - ... 456-458 

XXXII. Papers regarding the outbreak at 
Phulguri in 1861, handed in by 
Mr. Driberg - - 469-460 

XXXIII. Resolution recorded by the 

American Baptist Mission at 
Gauhati, Assam - - 460 

XXXIV. Statement by Mr. C. J. Handcook, 

M.R.C.S., received from Sur- 
geon-Major-General Rice - 460-461 

XXXV. Statement of Surgeon-Major 
Mullane, Civil Surgeon of Lak- 
himpur, Babu Hem Chandra 
Barua and Babu Benudhar 
Barua - - 461 

XXXVI. Memorial from the Jorhat Sarva- 

janik Sabha - . . 462 

XXXVII. Note on the system of Opium Ad- 
ministration in Burma, handed 
in by Mr. 0. G. Bayne, Revenue 
Secretary to the Chief Commis- 
sioner of Burma - - 463-481 

XXXVIII. Papers regarding the use of opium 

by Burmans - - - 481-483 

XXXIX. Note on excise establishments in 
Burma by Mr. 0. G. Bayne, 
Secretary to the Chief Com- 
missioner ... 484—487 

XL. Correspondence regarding the re- 
vised rules as to the use of 
opium in Burma - - 488-500 

XLI. Memorandum by Mr. Fryer, Chief 
Commissioner into Burma, on 
the smuggling of opium 500-506 

XLII. Statements of offences against the 
excise laws in Burma, handed 
in by Mr. Fryer, Chief Com- 
missioner 506-513 

XLIII. SupplementarynotebyMr. Fryer, 

Chief Commissioner of Burma - 514-522 

XLIV. Letter from Mr. J. C. Scott, late 
Superintendent of the Northern 
Shan States - - 523-524 

XLV. Letter from Mr. A. H. Hildebrand, 
Superintendent of the Southern 
Shan States - - - 624-625 

XLVI. Letter from the Upper India 
Chamber of Commerce, received 
from the Secretary to the Go- 
vernment of India, Finance and 
Commerce Department - 525 

XL VII. Petition from members of the 
Chinese Community in Ran- 
goon - - - 625-626 

XL VIII. The Law relating to opium - 627-636 

XLIX. Letter from Mr. Warry, Adviser 
on Chinese affairs to the Chief 
Commissioner of Burma - 636 

L. Further papers regarding the use 
of opium by Burmans (vide 
Appendices XXXVIII. and 
XL) - - - ■ 537 



U 81300. 



THE INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION. 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Buildings, Calcutta. 



SEVENTH DAY. 

Saturday, 18th November 1893. 



PRESENT : 

The Eight Honoueabie LORD BRASSEY, K.C.B. (Chairman, peesidino). 



Me. a. U. Fanshawe. 

„ Aethue Pease. 

„ Haeidas Vehabidas Desai. 

„ H. J. Wilson, M.P. 



Pie James B. Lyall, G.C.I.B., K.C.8.I. 

The Hon'ble Sik Lachhmbswae Singh Bahadue, 

Mahaeaja of Daebhanga, K.C.I.E. 
Sie William Robeets, M.D. 
Me. R. G. C. MowBEA.-r, M.P. 

Me. J. Peescott Hewbtt, CLE., Secretary, 

The Secretaky read the order of reference. 

The Chairman : — la opening the work of this Commission in India it may not be 
unfitting that I shoald offer one or two observations from the chair. First, I desire to 
refer to the circumstances which have led to the appointment of this Commission. The 
subject-matter of our inquiry, which is the manufacture, sale, and consumption of 
opium, has been repeatedly brought to the notice of Parliament at home. More than half 
a century ago the affairs of the East India Company formed the subject of an inquiry 
by a Select Committee of the House of Commons, That Committee was called upon, 
among other things, to consider the opium question, and chiefly in relation to the 
trade with China. The traffic at that time was contraband, yet the Committee gave 
their express sanction to its continuance. A few years later, in 1840, Lord Shaftes- 
bury, then Lord Ashley, made a vigorous attack in the House of Commons on the 
opium trade. Coming down to a much later period, in the course of the inquiries 
of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on East Indian Einance, extending 
over three Sessions, the subject of the opium traffic was frequently brought up. 
Turning to the latest phase of the question in Parliament, a Resolution to the effect 
tliat the opium revenue is morally indefensible was passed in the House of Commons 
in 1891 by 160 votes to 130. Many prominent members of the present Government 
voted with the majority. In the list we see the names of Messrs. Asquith, Powler, 
Mundella, Burt, Majoribanks, Sir Edward Grey, and Sir Charles Russell. The late 
Government, the Government of Lord Salisbury, while unwilling to accept the 
proposal actually brought forward in Parliament by the representatives of the Anti- 
Opium Association, were anxious to show themselves, at least in some measure, in 
sympathy with their views. It was stated by Mr. W. H. Smith that the policy of the 
Government of India had been greatly to reduce the acreage under poppy cultivation, 
and he promised that that policy would be continued. Lord Cross also pledged 
himself to certain important changes. The smoking of opium was no longer to be 
allowed in the premises where it is sold. In Bombay the condition that the license- 
holder should undertake to sell a certain quantity of opium was no longer to 
be imposed. I now come to the present year. In the last Session of Parlia- 
ment the subject which has been referred to us was again brought forward in a 
motion introduced by Mr, Webb and supported by Sir Joseph Pease, the President of 
the Anti-Opium Association. That motion was to this effect :— " That having regard 
to the opinion expressed by the vote of this House on the 10th April 1891, that the 
svstem by which the Indian opium revenue is raised is morally indefensible, and 
which uro-ed the Indian Government to give practical effect to the opinion by ceasing 



INDIAN OPIUM COMVISgiOW 



to grant licenses and by taking measures to arrest the transit of Malwa opium 
through British territory, and recognizing that tlis people of India ought not to be 
called upon to bear the cost involved in this change of policy, that oppressive taxa- 
tion and the stoppage of expenditure necessary for the welfare and progress of the 
Indian people must be avoided, this House is of opinion that a Royal Commission 
should be appointed to inquire, both in India and in this country, and to report as to 
(1) what retrenchments and reforms can be effected in the Military and Civil expen- 
diture of India; (2) by what means Indian resources can be best developed; and (3) 
what, if any, temporary assistance from the British Excliequer would be required in 
order to meet any deficit of revenue which would be occasioned by the suppression of 
the opium traffic." That was the resolution moved in the House of Commons, and 
it is certain that, if the present Government had moved a direct negative, they 
would have sustained a Parliamentary defeat. That result was only averted by 
Mr. Gladstone throwing himself into the breach with a vigorous speech and with 
a counter proposal for the appointment of a Royal Commission with more limited 
powers. Looking at the state of opinion in England, where we find men in the posi- 
tion of Archbishops and Bishops and men like the late Cardinal Manning supporting 
the Anti-Opium movement, yet admitting themselves to be painfully ignorant of 
the facts, and urging the Government to give tliem the light of an exhaustive and 
impartial inquiry, it must be recognized that the decision to appoint a Koyal 
Commission was inevitable. I understand that a suggestion in that sense had gone 
forward some time ago from the Indian Government. In conclusion, I would urge that 
the active concern which has been shown in England in the opium question should be 
accepted as evidence of the deep interest which is taken in England in all that con- 
cerns the good government of India. Never has that feeling of interest in India 
and sympathy with and regard for the people of India been more strongly felt than 
at the present time. In any action which may be taken on the subject before us, 
our Commission is expressly charged with the duty of ascertaining the opinions and 
the wishes of the natives of India, To those engaged in the weighty task of govern- 
ing this country, I can give an assurance on the part of the Commission that we have 
no desire to be unduly meddlesome, and that, in common with our fellow countrymen 
at home, we admire and recognize to the full the admirable qualities for which the 
Civil Service in India is so justly renowned. 



Sir David The Hon'ble SiE David Millee Baeboue, K.C.S.I., called in and exumiiied. 

k'^c's'i. ^^°^- (CAaicwan.) How long have you served in India ? Agency in the North- Western Provinces) is probably not 

__' ' — I came to India in December 1863, consequently I have so valuable as it was twenly-five years ago. But slill it 

18 Nor. 1893. served nearly thirty years. is a valuable crop ; and I imagine that if the cultivation 

2051. In what parts of India have you served, and in °i the poppy v.-ere prohibited, there would be a serious 

what capacities ?— I have served in the Patna Division of lo^s to the ryots and zemindars. I cannot speak from 

the Bengal Province where opium is grown ; and also for recent experience on tliis subject : no doubt you will get 

a short time in other Bengal districts. Altogether I have evidence from men who reside in that province at tbe 

served in Behar and Bengal about eight years, during present day. I may mention that I believe (though I 

which time I was employed partly in judicial work and h^^e no personal knowledge of it) that the crop is much 

partly in connection with the collection of the revenue ; more valuable to the ryots in Malwa than in Behar, be- 

and for the rest cf my service I have been employed in or cause, owinj; to peculiarities of climate and soil, there is no 

under the Financial Department chiefly or almost entirely. "t'ler specially valuable crop to substitute for it ia Malwa. 

2053. Have you had any special opportunities of watch- onsj «„..„ f„,™ j _ • • i it i • i 

-"" n- i- ■ t J' a ivL T • iOoi. Have TOu lormed any opinion as to the phvsical 

ine the poppy cultivation in India? — When I was in ^„„„n.„ p +1, „ c ■ o t i, ,. , ""; F^jo'i-'" 

i"& _r. iry iu 1 I, iL results irom the Use or opium r — 1 have ived thirtv veara 

Behar, I lived among the people who grow the poppy • t„j; „ jt j -j. h i t u ^Z j "■'■••■j' jcar» 

r^ , , ' J ,. £ ■ „ 'p ii. 1 i £ T in India, and 1 admit that I have not had special means of 

for the production of opium, lor the last live years I „„■ n,„„«„i. „f ■ v i "■ " "i"=^"»' "'^'»"'' "»■ 

J.UI vuv y r — . .^ .. seemer the etlpcts ot oT)unn. hut -nranticallv nn owi Tcci-.lf. 



s 



lorine prouuc.rou "^ yF--; ^o. .^« u.=o .,,,= y«^x» x seeing the effects of opium, but practicallv no evil result 

have been in charge 01 the J inance Department as Mem- v „ a i- t K. i- j T, '^u" 

, . 7 , ~ ° n I' r. -1 J 11 u ■ have come under my notice. I have lived in the onium- 

ber of the Governor Generals Council ; and all business „„ „.„ j- ,^; l •' ^ i .• j / "piuiii- 

" , 3 ,.., . , . , i ii /-. J. J! growing districts. 1 was stationed for some vears in 

connected with opium which comes to the Government of t,„i.„„ „!,.,... tV, ^„ ; , ™ i -i j 7 ^ , 

i ". 1 ..if i Ti i 4. ratna, where there is a very large city and wheie a food 

India comes to that Department. jii •„v.i- j^"^!. ° , "'"''"' " S"""- 

Auum oumcD iw f jj,g^j ^f opium is believed to be consumed. I cannot call 

2053. What, in your view, would be the effect of the to mind more than one or two oases in which men were 

prohibition of the poppy cultivation ? Would such a step snid to suffer from the effects of consumins: opium, and in 

be likely to occasion grave discontent among the culti- the case of those men nil I noticed was, that they used to 

Tators ?— I think 1 ought to observe that my actual per- be rather stupid and sluggish in the morning until they 

sonal experience of the value of the crop in Behar is now had had their allowance of opium. These were cases of 

about twenty-two years old. At that time it certainly men who were supposed to take opium immoderately ; but, 

was a valuable crop; but I believe that, on ing to improved practically, I may say thut no evil results from the con- 

means of communication, which enable other more bulky sumption of opium have come under mv notice. At the 

produce to be sent out more cheaply than was formerly same time I must siiy thiit I only know a limited portion 

the case, and possibly owing in a measure to the deprecia- of India. There is no man alive who knows all India, 

tion of silver, the crop in Behar (and the same would It is impossible for any man to know all India. I speak, 

Bpply, no doubt with more or lesi force, to the Benares therefore, of that part of India with which I am acquainted, 



MINDTES OP EVIDENCE. 



s 



altid oE the class of people with whom I have come in 
CO :i tact. 

2055. Taking the population of India as a whole, 
those who oonsuiiie opium, whether moderately or im- 
miiderately, are a small minority of the whole P — They 
are a small mini>rity of the whole. In the evidence I 
have just given I was speaking from my personal 
knowledge. I have formed a belief from the papers I 
have seen and the persons I have talked to, and 1 believe, 
taking India as a whole, the evils arisins from the 
<»nsuniption of opium are certainly not serious. Opium 
is consumed more largely in some provinces than in 
others. 

205fi. Have you any opinion with reference to the 
physical effects of the opium habit in Cliina ?— I have 
not been in China myself, and I have no personal know- 
kdjje on the subject, but I have spoken to one or two 
persons who have been there. I miiy mention that I 
have spoken to Mr. James, now Commissionev in Sind, 
who travelled some years ago in Manchuria. Travel- 
ling in Manchuria — he practically travelled as a Chin.i- 
man Would, moving about with carts or mules from 
place to place and stoppinj; at the same hotels or sarais 
as the people stopped at. I think his impression was 
that many of the i>eople who consumi-d opium were 
remarkably fine men physically — unusually fine; — that 
they took their opium as a matter of course, and that it 
did not eeem to do them anj' harm. I think he 
also mentioned to me that he had come across one or 
two people who seemed to have suffered very much from 
opium— at any rate they were suffering very much from 
something, and they did consume opium. I have read 
statements made as to the evil effects of opium in China, 
but I think they are very much exaggerated. I have no 
doubt that there are cases of abuse of opium there, 
and possibly the consumption of opium may amount 
to a considerable evil ; but, on the other hand, I have 
heard very strong statements made to the effect that 
the consumption of opium is often beneficial. A friend 
of mine visited some tin mines in a very unhealthy 
locality in the Straits where, a number of Chinese were 
employed, and also people belonging to other countries, 
nnd he told me that the hospitals there were full of people 
belonging to other countries, but that remarkably few of the 
(Jhinese had to go to hospital. 'I'hat result was ascribed 
to the fact that the Chinese regularly took a little opium. 
Of course as regards China you must only take my opinion 
for what you consider it is worth. I have never been 
in China. 

2057. You have had the opportunitv of consulting with 
men who have been there ?— Yes ; and I have read many 
reports on the subject. 

2058. I will now ask you to turn to that very important 
aspect of the question which has been referred to us, 
and with which from your position in the Government, 
vou would be more particularly called upon to deal, namely, 
the financial aspect of the question. It is a fact that, 
to the various objections that have been urged to the opium- 
revenue, the Government of India have always put forth 
in reply, amoiig other arguments, that the revenue derived 
from opium is in the present condition of the finances of 
India, indispensable. I need hardly remind you that 
Mr. Gladstone, in resisting the motion of the last Session 
of the House of Commons, which led to the appointment 
of this Commission, insisted chiefly on the financial argu- 
ment. He said, " You cannot give a pledge for the further 
contraction of the opium traffic without being possessed of 
the operative means." Can you give us any statement 
showing the amount and fluctuations in the opium-revenue, 
and showing the degree of your dependence upon that 
financial resource? — I have not got such statements with 
the intention of putling them in: tliey can be put in here- 
after. I have not got the statistics in detail, but papers have 
been prepared, whicli will be put in for the information of the 
Commission. The total revenue derived from the con- 
sumption of opium in India is abont Bx. 1,000,000. The 
net revenue derived from the export of opium is much 
larger and may be taken at about Rx. 5,000,000 in the 
present year. The revenue derived from the export of 
opium has materially fallen off in recent years. This is 
mainly due to the growing competition of opium produced 
in China, but it is partially due to temporary causes, such 
as poor crops of opium in recent years in India, and 
probably in some degree to the introduction into China 
of the system under which a consolidated rate of duty is 
levied on import in place of the likin or transit duties. 
We may fairly take the total •««* revenue from opium at 
Rx. 6,o6o,COO \ early at the present time. I have no hesita- 
tion in saying that it would be impossible to carry on the 



administration of India if the revenue was reduced by 
iix. 6,000,000. As it is, there is considerable difficulty in 
making revenue balance expenditure; and for my part 
I would positively refuse to attempt the task if the revenue 
were reduced by lix. 6,000,000. Some revenue could, 
of course, be raised by additional taxation, but not 
Kx. 6,000,000. I have no doubt that the people in this 
country would bear some additional taxation, if the taxation 
were imposed in consequence of some disaster which we 
could not have avoided ; but the imposition of heavy or 
perhaps of any considerable amount of taxation on the 
people of India, in order to make good the loss of revenue 
caused by interference with the consumption or export of 
opium, would cause most serious discontent among the 
people of India. I should be most unwilling to face the 
consequences of taxation imposed for such a purpose. Of 
course, this Rx. 6,000,000 does not represent the total 
loss to the country that would be caused by the prohibition 
of the production of opium ; but it represents the loss of 
revenue to the Government. Certain Native States, if the 
production of opium were prohibited, would lose very 
heavily, and the peasants and cultivators in many places 
would suffer severely if deprived of the opportunity of 
cultivating a specially valuable crop. I am aware that it 
has been said or suggested that any loss of opium revenue 
might possibly be made good by a reduction of the home 
charges' on account of the British troops serving in India, 
For my own part, I am unable to see any connection 
between the two questions. If the home charges are 
too high, they should be reduced without any reference 
to the opium question. If this Commission or the 
Homo Government are in a position to announce posi- 
tively on behalf of the British Government that the home 
charges will be reduced, I can take that fact into con- 
sideration and allow for an improvement pro fanfo ia 
the financial position. But if they are. not in a position 
to do so, I cannot take into account any possible de- 
crease of exnenditore due to this cause. The Govern- 
ment of India have represented that the home charges 
ought to be reduced, and I believe there has been some 
consideration of the expediency of appointing a Commission 
to inquire into the subject; but, on the other hand, I 
understand that the War Office and the Treasury hold 
that, if anything, the charges made against India on 
account of British troops serving in this ^ country are 
lower than they might fairly be. There is one other 
consideration that has been put forward as regards the 
loss of revenue, that if the export of opium from India 
were prohibited, the measure might be spread over a 
series of years, say, thirty, so that the loss of revenue 
would be gradual and Indian revenue and expenditure 
would have time to adjust themselves to the altered 
conditions. Against that proposal I desire to protest 
in the strongest terms. It would throw on posterity a 
burden which we are unable and unwilling to take upon 
ourselves, and there is no good reason to suppose that 
posterity will be in a better position to hear the burden 
than we are. No man can tell what the history of India 
will be during the next thirty years. It m.ay be that the 
country will be financially prosperous thirty years her.ce, 
or it may be that it will be in great financial difficulties. 
We are in serious financial difficulties at the present time, 
and the flnanoial burden of to-day would be simply 
intoletable if our predecessors had decided thirty years 
a°-o to gradually stop the export of opium, and if our 
revenue were at this moment Rx. 5,000,000 less than it 
actually is. 

2059. Turning to what you have said about military 
charges, the reasons for opposing any modification in the 
present system of dealing with opium being partly, 
indeed, I may say, essentially, financial, it is impossible 
to exclude altogether from view the general consideration 
of the various charges which the G-overnment of India 
has to meet. In a speech in the House of Commons in 
support of motion which led to the appointment of the 
present Commission, Sir Joseph Pease made a special refer- 
to the rapid increase in the military charges. He pointed 



Sir David 
Barhour, 
K.C.S.I. 

18 Nov. 1893. 



from 



ence„„ r- - , -_ _ . , 

to the fact that the military charges had increased 
1881 to the time when be was speaking by Rx. 8,500,000. 
He mentioned that the number of British soldiers had 
been increased from 63.000 in 1883-84, to 71,000 in 1891 ; 
and he pointed to the increase of the native army from 
126 000 to 149,000 in the same period. I beheve there 
has'heena large increase in the expenditure on military 
works. Have you any reason to apprehend a further 
development in the same proportion of the military 
expenditure for the external defence of India ?-Nobody 
would bo bettor pleased than I should, if it were found 
possible to reduce the military expenditure in India ; but 
there are different opinions held on the subject, 

A 2 



It would 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



iSiV JDavid depend very mndh on the course of events whether the 
Barhour, charges should increase or not. 

2060. You are not in a position, hecause you are here 

18 Nov. 189 3. as Financial Officer, to form any anticipation of the military 
necessities of the future P— Going hack to what Your 
Lordship has already said, my objections to the prohibition 
of the production of opium are not by any means purely 
financial. If every rupee that India would lose directly or 
indirectly were to be made good to the Government of India, 
I would still say that it is a mistake to prohibit the produc- 
tion and consumption of opium, hecause I think that no 
extreme measure like that should be forced on people who 
do not want it, unless it should he found to be necessary to 
adopt tliat expedient in order to get riil of evils of the most 
serious character. Looking at the question from a financial 
point of view, it is quite true that some charges may 
be reduced ; it is quite true that it may be possible tu 
reduce the military charges of this country. On the other 
hand, it is equally possible that the home charges may not 
be reduced, and that the military charges in this country 
may be increased. It is conceivable that we might have a 
war on the frontier which would certainly be a source of 
financial embarrassment ; again it is conceivable that we 
might have a, famine. We may have great dirfioulties 
to meet in connection with the attempt to introduce the 
sold standard in this country, and I can say that the 
actual financial difficulties of the present time are serious ; 
the financial future is clouded and uncertain, and I am not 
prepared to take into consideration a possible increase oC 
revenue or reduction of expenditure unless it can be put 
forward on more definite grounds than have yet been shown 
to exist. I admit that if the home chari;es were reduced, 
the financial position would be improved ; hut I have no 
guarantee as to reduction of expenditure or increase of 
revenue, and I can form no estimate on which it would be 
safe to rely. I should be very glad if the military ex- 
penditure could be reduced. 

2061. If military advice of a character so weighty that 
no Government, whether of England or India, could alTord 
to disregard it, had been tendered, recommending certain 
preparations for the defence of the frontier, and if it had 
heen financially impossihle for the Government of India 
to carry into effect this recommendation in such a contin- 
gency as that, would it not have heen incumbent upon the 
Imperial Exchequer to deal with the defence P — I should say 
so, or at least I hope so, but the Imperial Exchequer has 
never shown any special readiness to help us in these matters. 

2062. In such a contingency as I have suggested, we 
know what the public feeling in England would he p — I 
have little doubt, at least I hope, that when things came 
to the worst we should yet assistance. There is one 
matter on which I should like to say a few words, that is, 
as to the feeling of the people of India with regard to the 
prohibition of the consumption of opium in India. I hold a 
very strong opinion that the prohibition of the consumption 
of opium in India would of itself excite the gravest dis- 
content in many parts of India, and I think it would be 
simple folly for such a Government as ours to attempt to 
enforce prohibition on the people. It is a different thing 
possibly where everybody has a vote, and a great majority 
of the people have come to the conclusion that the use of 
a certain article should be put down. Yoii may be able to 
enforce prohibition under such circumstances, but where 
such a thing is done on the fiat of the Government and 
in oppo.sitiim to the general wish of the people, or of a laige 
section of them, I think the consequences might be very 
serious. 

2063. That contingency was provided for by Parliament 
and the Government when this Commission was appointed 
and, as ynu will have noticed, we are specially charged 
under the order of reference with the duty of travelling 
through the country and putting ourselves in personal con- 
tact with those races in India who are the consumers of 
opium to te^t their feeling on the point? — I merely men- 
tion the opinion I have formed as the result of my ex- 
perience, hecause the Commission, I apprehend, will find 
it very diiEiult to take the opinion of all these races. There 
are a great many parts of the country, and to visit them 
would be a woik of great time and labour. I am not 
aware that the Government of India have any right or 
authority to nrohibit the production or consumption of 
opium in Native States. I am sure there are many Native 
States that would resent in the strongest manner any 
attempt to coerce them in this matter. The amonnt of 
revenue derived from opium is very great in Central India. 

2061. Perhaps we might not inappropriately glance at 
one aspect of this question on which I think you are pre- 
pared to give us your opinion, that is, with refersnce to the 



situation in relation to China. What is your view as to the 
feeling entertained by those who govern in China with 
regard to the opium traffic P — I have no special means of 
saying what the feeling of the Government of China has 
been in the past, or what it is at the present time. I have 
no doubt the Commission will find other witnesses who can 
give them a much better opinion oh the point than I can; 
but I am quite satiwhed that the Government of China 
could not prevent the consumption of opium in that country, 
even if they wished to do so : I think that they would 
find it impossible. 

2065. Supposing that a large increase in the duty im- 
posed hy the Chinese Government were agreed to, what is 
your view as to the probable eifect of such an increase of 
the duty levied in the Chinese ports with reference to 
smuggling p— We know that the Chinese are the most 
adroit smugglers in the world, and I presume that the 
higher the duty on imports into China, the greater the 
temptation to smuggling would be. But the Chinese 
seem to prevent smuggling tolerably well now. I rather 
think they have an agreement with the Hong-Kong Gov- 
ernment to prevent smuggling from Hong-Kong. 

2036. That was arranged by Sir Thomas Wade, I be- 
lieve?— I think they have such an agreement, and I am 
jnclined to think that they could prevent smugcrlincr, un. 
less the temptation was very great indeed. You must 
take that opinion for what it is worth. 

2067. As a matter of fact, we know that the management 

of their customs is now in the hands of Europeans? I 

know that it has been under Sir Robert Hart ; and for 
some years they have levied a large revenue on imported 
opium, and I apprehend they can only do so by checking 
smuggling in a tolerably effective manner. 

2068. I should like to direct your attention to a point 
which seems to me of considerable practical importance. 
Looking at the matter on behalf of Government yon 
would naturally desire, if 5'ou could, to conciliate and to 
meet the objections of those who do object to the opium 
revenue ? — Certainly. 

2069. Particular exception has been taken to what may 
be called the Bengal monopoly .s3'stem. In his speech in 
seconding the motion in the House of Commons in the 
present Session, Sir Joseph Pease, the President of the 
Anti-Opium Association, expre.ssed himself in words which 
I think it would be proper that I should read : " The posi- 
tion of the Indian Government is a position which is terri- 
bly unique. 'I'he Indian Government licenses every poppy 
plant that is grown ; the Indian Government subsidises the 
whole of the cultivators of the crop ; they frequently have 
as much as £2,000,000 out in subsidies on the crop. The 
Indian Government are the people who were responsible for 
this. They are the people who license and who decree more 
or less growth according to the exigencies of the trade. It 
is a position which, as I have said, is perfectly unique. They 
subsidise the grower, they buy the crop, they manufacture 
the drug, and they sell it by auction at Calcutta. This is 
the position of a professing Christian nation. We do 
license public houses, but we do not c.irry on a trade in 
public houses. We are not the manufacturers of all the 
whisky used in this country ; and if we were, we should 
hesitate het'ore trying to force our whisky crop accordinc 
to the exigencies of the trade. As a moral and a Christian 
nation, we have no right to trade in that which does others 
harm, and which is one of the greatest causes of misery to 
the human race. That is the simple point I endeavour to 
make." ^ That was the position taken by Sir Joseph Pease 
and I wish to bring it prominently forward for the consider- 
ation of those who govern this country. Then we have an- 
other view of the same kind from an authority even more 
weighty— that of Lord Hartington when Secretary of State 
for India. In a despatch addressed to the Government of 
India, June the 16th, 18S1, he expressed himself as fol- 
lows:— "The two points on which the position of the Gov- 
ernment has chiefly been attacked, are (1) their direct con- 
nection with the trade ; and (2) the policy pursued towards 
the Chinese Government in relation to it. As reo-ards the 
first, it can scarcely be contended that the subjeots"of Native 
States, or, indeed, our own subjects, should be entirely pro- 
hibited from growing opium for exportation, or that an ex- 
port duty on such opium is not a legitimate source of Gov- 
ernment revenue. But it is obvious that Government are 
placed in a very different position, when, as in Benc^al they 
are manufacturers and dealers in a drug which is °at' least 
capable of great abuse, and which is, in the opinion of many 
persons, the cause ot much misery and evil." Then we 
have the views of the Anti-Opium Association so far as I 
have been able to collect them, and as put forward more 
particularly in >. pamphlet which they have published on 



MlNUiES or EVIDEXCE. 



Sic William Muir's Minute of 18C8. In tlmt Minute refer- 
enee is made to the veooinmendiition of Sir Cliaijes Trevc- 
lyan in favour of the appointment of a Commission — I 
suppose a Commission under the Government of India — for 
the consideration of the expediency and practicability of ex- 
tending or introducing the Bombay system in Bengal. 
Among other arfjuments nrtted by Sir Charles Trevelyan was 
that argument of the large amount locked up in advances to 
the cultivators. That and other objections were discussed 
in Sir William Muir's Minute, and among other references 
there was a reference to the opinion of Mr. Wilson, who was, 
I' suppose. Finance Mini^ter in India at that time, and 
whose objection to the change which has been proposed in 
Bengal was almost limited to this, that if you had the 
Bombay system in Bengal you would no longer have a 
Government brand on the opium chests, and that the opium 
would therefore sell less advantageously in the market. To 
that it was answered that the Malwa opium did not bear the 
Government brand and nevertheless commanded a rather 
better price than the Bengal opium. The main argument for 
the change urged by Sir William Muir was put in this way: — 
" Primd facie the change proposed would remove a blemish 
from the Administration without imperilling the finances. 
That cannot be an edifying position for the Government to 
occupy, in which il Inis year by year to determine the quan- 
tity of opium which it will bring to sale, in wliich there is a 
constant inducement for it to trim the market, and in which 
its haste to secure wider harvests ana larger returns 
has repeatedly recoiled upon the trade, stimulated baneful 
speculation and gambling in Central India, and ended in 
much misery. I do not speak of the undignified aspect of the 
British Government growing, manufacturing, and selling 
the drug — performing, in fact, all the functions of producer 
and speculator." This was taken up by the Anti-Opium 
Association. They reprinted Sir William Muir's minute, 
nnd they put in conclusion the argument which they founded 
upon that minute. This is what they .say in reply to those who 
on behalf of the Government wish to sustain the monopoly. 
'■The argument is, that when evil will be done, it matters not 
who is the doer of it. It is the same thing morally, whether 
the Government permits private persons to carry on a 
noxious trade or itself embarks its own capital and energies 
in that trade. This argument is so monstrous that even when 
fortified by the qualification in the minute of Sir William 
Muir that Government must be ' sufficiently despotic to efl^eot 
atotal prohibition of the trade in question', it could only find 
acceptance with minds predisposed to welcome any argument 
favouring a foregone conclusion. What but the most auda- 
cious impiety will venture to assert that the permission of 
evil is exactly equivalent to the causation of evil when evil 
occurs in the dominions of the only absolutely omnipotent 
sovereign. Have we never heard on the highest authority 
that 'offences must come : bui tooe to that man hy whom 
they come.' To descend lo lower levels for our illustrations, 
everv human Government refrains from interference with a 
vast variety of evils which, nevertheless, no sane man would 
advocate that the Government should itself promote. Gamb- 
ling and prostitution exist in England. Would our State he 
no worse if the Houses of Parliament were to create 
branches of the public service to conduct gambling houses and 
brothels, in order to divert the profits of those vices from 
private individuals to the public treasury ? It would be 
waste of time to occupy more in exposing this false 
principle. If evil must needs be, better, incalculably 
better, that the evil should not be the work of the So- 
vereign, the Government, the Magistrate, but that of 
privSte persons, who at least do i;ot compromise the dignity 
of the Crown, the sanctity of law and justice by their 
wilful proceedings." I thought it well to put before you 
the arguments which have been addressed to the British 
public and have so far prevailed wit'n them as to produce 
that parliamentary position which has led to the appoint- 
ment of this Commission. Ifc seems to me that the point 
on which the assault is most seriously directed is the 
question of the Bengal ' monopoly. I am aware that the 
despatch of Lord Hartington, from which I have read an 
extract, was met by a very able Minute on the part of the 
Government over which at that time Lord Ripon presided, 
and that reasons of a cogent nature were urged in defence 
of the Bengal monopoly. But as I have shown by the 
quotation from the speech of Sir Joseph Pease, he at least 
is still impressed very strongly with the objections to the 
Bengal monopoly. I should, therefore, like to ask you 
what your view is on that point, and specially with reference 
to this, that Sir William Muir in his Minute recou'uizes 
the utter impossibility of any sudden change. He says 
that the nev; system would of course be substituted gradually 
for the old. Then he suggests that it might be treated 
experimentally, and that districts should be selected in which 
the Bombay system could he tried. The Government, 
he ^ays, might withdraw disti-i''t by distrijt. Jt might, 



for example, for the present stop advances in the district of gii" David 
Cawnpore and westward. That would give time for testing, Bariour 
and if the results were such that Government could not K.C.S.I. 

accept them from a financial point of view, and if further 

it were found by experiment that smugjjling was stimulated '" "^ov. 1893, 

and that the result might be to increase rather than to 

diminish the growth, then the experiment would have 

been tried and the result must be accepted. At any rate, 

the consideiation of this Bengal monopoly is pressed very 

strongly upon us, and I should be glad to hear your 

views. 

(Witness.) The arguments which you have read are 
no doubt plausible, and I have no desire to speak otl crwise 
than with respect of those who have used them, jnd of 
their conviction. At the same lime I must say that I think 
those arguments, when examined, will prove to be entirely 
unsound. The primary question is this — Are you or are 
you not goi"g to abolish the production of opium in 
Bengal? If you are going to abolish it absolutely, there is 
no use discussing whether yon should have a monopoly 
system or whether you should have a syslem of what 
perhaps may be called free-trade, at any rate of produc- 
tion and trade open to the general public. The question 
then resolves itself into this : assuming the production to 
be continued, which system gives the best results, taking 
everything into consideration, the monopoly system or the 
system which it is proposed to substitute for it ? I must 
say that I think that Sir Joseph Pease has put the align- 
ment unfairly when ho talks of us as subsidizing and en- 
couraging the growth of opium. The natural course of the 
Government would he, as regards the poppy and opium and 
every other article, to leave it to the people to produce as 
much or as little as they pleased. The result nf the monopoly 
system is to very largely reduce the area in which the poppy- 
would otherwise be cultivated, and the cultivator is paid a 
smaller price than he c:)uld get if there was absolute free- 
trade. Under those circumstances, I do not think the Gov- 
ernment is fairly open to the charge of stimulatiu:; or en- 
couraging the consumption of opium. The truth is, that 
the monopoly system materially limits the cultivatiim of the 
poppy and theproduction of opium, ami regulatesthe trade for 
the purpose of raising as large a revenue as possible and for 
the purpose, or with result of, checking the immoderate 
use of opium in India and other countries. Take the case of 
I5ngland. There is a very large consumption of spirits there. 
If the Government decided to adopt a system such as 1 believe 
has been advocated elsewhere in another form — that of 
making over the production and sale of spirits to local 
bodies — and if the Home Government reduced the quantity 
of spirits produced every year, lo say or.e-fifth of tiie quan- 
tity now consumed, would they be fairly charged with 
stimulatini; the consumption of spirits? No doubt such 
a measure would seiiously check the consumption of 
spirits. What the Government of India do in the case 
of opium is to limit the production and consumption of 
opium and to raise a lara^e revenue from it ; and I think 
if you adopt any otlier system you uill get worse results. 
At present under the supervision of the Government officers 
the poppy is cultivated and opium is produced and brought 
to the central factory aid there manufactured, and the pro- 
duction is limited. If you had a different system, a system 
of what I may call free-trade, Government would still have 
to license the cultivation of the poppy and the production of 
opium ; it would still employ officers to supervise the crop 
from the time it was sown till the time when the opium was 
manufactured ; it would still have to levy duty : but I 
think it would do all the=e things in a less effective way. 
The persons who embarked in the trade would make ad- 
vances to the opium cultivators instead of the Government, 
and they would require to have their officers to manage the 
business; they would expect a higher rate of interest on 
their capital than (Jovernment would accept ; they would re- 
quire to keep up their own establishment, and at the same 
time the Government would require to keep up an establish- 
ment. There would he a double establishment and a 
higher charge for interest by the persons engaged in the 
trade. Those persons must also make their profits ; and 
the result would be that opium could not hear as liigh a 
rate of taxation as at present, because all that expen- 
diture would have to come out of the selling price of the 
opium. On the other hand, I think it will be admitted 
that the door would he opened to smuggling when there 
were two sets of oflioers looking aiter the opium, — one 
on behalf of the Government, and the other on behalf 
of these traders, because Government could not exercise the 
.same control and supervision as when the matter was 
entirely in the hands of its own officers. It would also he 
impossible to restrict and define the area of cultivation in 
the manner now adopted. I also think the opium Would 
not fetch so high a, price on account of its being at present 



Indian opil'M commission: 



Sir Daxnd 
Barbour, 
K.C.S.T. 

18 Nov. 1893 



of a uniform brand. Reference has been made to Malwa 
opium, That is produced in a different place and under 
ditFerent conditions, and it is a slightly different article. 
I think a cliest of Malwa opium contains 2o per cent, more 
opium than a chest of Bengal opium of the same weight, 
altliough it is nominally the same thing. In commercial 
opium there is not only the pure opinm, but tliere is a 
certain amount of moisture, and there is more moisture in 
the Bengal opinm than in the Malwa. I am, therefore, of 
opinion tliat it might be a serious thing to allow general 
cultivation of the poppy under license. Probably its growth 
would be extended over a much lurger area, and in that 
ease there would certainly be a greater risk of smuggling, 
because smuggling specially prevails wherever the poppy 
is cultivated, and I do not see bow the same amount of 
revenue could be raised except by a considerable increase of 
the cultivation which would necessarily be accompanied by 
increased production and inerciised consumption. Therefore 
I tliiiik on all grounds the monopolj' system, even from 
the point of view of the Anti-Opium Association, is pre- 
ferable to the system of open trade. No doubt the Com- 
mission have seen the despatch of the Government of India 
on the subject. 

2070. {Chairman.') I had contemplated asking you one or 
two questions as to the Home charges, but you have already 
given us in your statement your general view, and I think it 
is hardlj' necessary that 1 should occupy your time or that of 
the Commission in eliciting the obvious admission that you 
would be very thankful to see tliose Home charges reduced, 
and that you would not refuse to enteitain the belief that 
on grounds of equity something miuht be done in mitiga- 
tion of the present burden which India has to lie ir at home. 
Those points are obvious, and it is also obvious that if any- 
thing is to be done in pleading the cause of India with the 
British public, it is not particularly the work of this Com- 
mission, though some of us may return home iu the belief 
that in another capacity it might be our duty to move in 
the matter. Have you anythini; further to add? — There is 
one point npon which I should lilte to make a few remarks. 
It has been said that we should give up our Treaty lights 
with China as regards the importation of opium into that 
country, and that we should prohibit the export of opium 
to China in the interests of the Chinese people. It seems 
to me that to justify any interference of that nature, it 
would be necessary to prove, first, that the consumption of 
opium in China was such an overwhelming evil as to make 
it our duty to interfere in the interests of humanity, and, 
secondly, that our interference would be attended with such 
benefits as to outweigh the undouLted loss of revenue to 
India which would certainly follow. Of course it is for 
this Commissi' n to come to a conclusion whether the con- 
sumption involveJ evils of such a character as to justify our 
interference. In my opinion this is not the case, but I 
have never been in China, and, as I have alreadj' .«aid, my 
opinion cm only be taken for what it is worth. On one 
point, however, I have no doubt. If we abandon our Treaty 
rights in China and allow the Chinese to impose any import 
duty they please on Indian opium, the whole, or piaolically 
the whole, of the Indian revenue i'lom the expoit of opinm 
to China will be lost to India. We sell yearly a certain 
quantity of Bengal opium to the highest bidder, and 
every additional rupee of taxation imposed on it on import 
into China will involve a corresponding reduction in the 
price paid for the opium in Calcutta, and every such 
reduction iu the Calcutta price means the loss of an 
equivalent amount of Indian revenue. The Malwa opium 
trade has been in anything but a flourishing condition 
for some years. The export has fallen oti, and the trade 
with ditficnlty sustains the taxation it now bears. Any 
mcrease in the taxation in China must be met by a 
corresponding reduction in this countrv, unless we are 
prepared to see the trade destroyed. The destruction of 
the Malwa trade would be a most serious blow to the States 
that produce that opium, and to the inhabitants, because 
opium is their especially valuable crop. On the other 
hand, the imposition of a higher rate of duty on import 
of opium into China would in my belief have no effect upon 
the consumption in China. It would not affect 
the total taxation on Indian opium, because Indian opium 
already bears the highest rate of taxation «hich it is 
possible to impose upon it, and any increase in China would 
be followed automatically in the case of Hengal opium by 
a corresponding decrease in India ; whilst in the case of 
Malwa opium the Government of India would be forced, 
as I have said, to reduce the export duty in order to save 
the trade and the interests of the Native States concerned. 
Even if wo assume that the Government of India are pre- 
pared to see the Malwa trade extinguished or materially 
reduced, the total consumption of opium would not fall off 
in China. The place of Malwa opinm has already been 
largely taken in China by indigenous opium, and, to some 



extent, by Persian opium, and the progress of substitution 
is still going on. Its progress would be merely accelerated 
by a decline in the quantity of Malwa opium exported to 
China. In my opinion the financial consequences to India 
of doing away with the whole, or the greater portion, of 
the Indian revenue derived from the export of opium, 
would be of the most serious character. Apart from the 
question of losing revenue, which at present I can see no 
means of replacing, the destruction, or serious reduction, 
of one of the most valuable articles of our export trade 
would have consequences on the rate of exchange which 
might prove disastrous at a time when we are attempting to 
introduce a gold standard into India. 'J'he success of that 
measure depends very larsjely on the proportion which 
is maintained between Indian exports and imports, and 
anything which would materially reduce our exports, would 
have injurious consequences, and might produce evils 
which would prove irreparable. It is conceivable that the 
consumption of opium might be the cause of such evils in 
China as to make it desirable for us in the interests of 
morality' and humanity to wash our hands of the whole 
business at any cost, but I deny that this is the case. I 
have served for thirty years in India; I have been 
connected with the Finance l^epartment for more than 
tsventy-one years ; I was a member of the Eoral Commis- 
sion on GoU and Silver which sat in England for 
two years, and I have made a special study of the 
Exchange question; and I wish to give this Commis- 
sion the most solemn warning as to the probable 
consequences of destroying the Indian opium revenue. 
I cm see no justification for measures involving such a 
result, and I am confident that those measures would not 
produce any benefits in the case of the people of China. My 
coanection with India and with the Government of India 
will come to a close before another week has passed, and 
I desire to place this deliberate opinion on record as the 
outcome of experience which I think, I may fairly say, is of 
its kind not surpassed by that of any other living Indian 
ofBcial. 

2071. It will be our duty to weigli carefully the state- 
ments you have made. I am sure they will have our at- 
tentive consideration. Speaking of the matter generally in 
relation to China, I suppose we may take it to be your 
opinion that whatever view may be held of the relations 
between England and China in regard to opium matters in 
the past, at present those relations would be governed by 
the declaration of Sir James Fergusson in the House of 
Commons to the effect that public opinion would never sanc- 
tion any exercise of force on the part of the British Empire 
to compel the Chinese to receive our opium. That declara- 
tion is before the Chinese Government for them to act upon 
as they may think discreet. It would seem to me, as I think 
I have already suggested in a question that I put, that in 
considering the expediency of any re-openin<; of negoeiations 
with reference to the tarilf', the action of the Chinese Gov- 
ernment must be governed by the following consideration. 
If a great increase were made in the duty levied in Chinese 
ports, it must necessarily le.id to increased smuggling. 
Considering the nature of the Chinese administration, the 
character of the navigaticm on their coasts, and so on, it 
would be exceptionally difficult for the Chinese Govern- 
ment to put a check upon smuggling if the temptation 
offered by an excessive duty were sufficient to stimulate 
smuggling op.^rations. That seems to be obvious? — ^These 
are questions for the consideration of the Commission. I 
have given my opinion as to the possible consequences of a 
loss of Indian revenue, and I have given it to the best of my 
ability. 

2072. (Siy James Lyall.) If a saving of home charges 
for military expenditure could be effected, and if no crisis 
occurred, such as war or famine, is it not still the case that 
there are many urgent claims on the Indian revenue which 
would be so set free, in the way of money wanted for canals 
the salt tax, etc. ?— Xohody knows better than I do that the 
claims on the Indian Government for good and useful pur- 
poses are indefinite in amount. A great many things are 
wanted in this country which ought to be provided if the 
money were available. My whole career in leceiit years has 
been that of occupying the unfortunate position of refusing 
to provide money for objects which I admitted were import- 
ant. 

2073. In the last letter to Lord Kimberley from the 
Anti-Upium Association, which is said to represent 
the present case of that body, it is said that the stoppage 
of the Indian trade in opium in China would in all 
probability have a very beneficial effect on the silver ex- 
changes by putting an end to the drain fnmi China to India 
in payment for opinm, thereby enabling the Chinese to 
substitute the use of silver fVr their present cumbrous 
coinage ; that it would thus tend to check the depreciation 



MINUTES OV EVIDENCE. 



of silrer wtioh at the present time is so serious an embar- 
rassment to tlie finances of India. Do you think there is 
any truth in this theory P — I thinli there is no foundation 
for it at all. I have heard many strange arguments in 
connection with the currency question, but that is one of 
the strangest, 

2074. Do you think it would have any effect either way, 
or that it ■would have a bad effect P— That if we do not 
export opium to China the Chinese •would abolish their 
present system of currency and liave a silver coinage. I do 
not see the connection between the two things. Moreover, 
we have no longer got a silver standard, and the reduction 
of our exports would injuriously affect the exchange. 

2075. It is also said in the same letter that if the trade 
in opium from India to China Were stopped, in all probabil- 
ity the trade in other products would be greatly increased, 
which would tend to the benefit of India ? — I imagine that 
if the cultivation of the poppy for the productioii of opium 
were stopped in India, whether for export or import, the 
land would not lie fallow, other crops would be put in, but 
certainly nothing nearly so valuable to India as the present 
opium cultiviition. We now export about Ex. 10,000,000 
worth of opium. If that were stopped, we would fail to 
pay our foreign debts by that amount, and we must export 
something by which to pay these debts. I apprehend that 
the way an adjustment would be bronglit about would be 
by the exchange falling until the exports were increased and 
the imports reduced. I know no other way in which the 
account could be adjusted. 

2076. You think the result would be the exchange 
falling ? — Decidedly. If you take away ten orores from 
our exports, you may depend upon it that the exchange will 
fall considerably. 

2077. (Mr. Fanshawe.) The Eesolution of the House 
of Commons on the 30th June 1893 presses on the Gov- 
ernment of India a continuation of their policy of greatly 
diminishing the cultivation of the poppy and the sale of 
opium. I should like to ask for an explanation of the 
Government policy at the present time as regards its real 
objects and the practical limits within which it is contem- 
plated the diminution should be carried out F— The policy of 
the Government of India in i-egard to opium, I imagine, 
has varied somewhat at different times according to the 
views of the members of the Government for the time being. 
For a great many years its policy in regard to internal 
consumption has been to raise the taxation on opium as 
high as possible without giving rise to smuggling. The ob- 
ject of this policy would be, I should say, to raise the revenue 
and at the same time to check the excessive consumption 
of opium by increasing its price. As regards the export of 
opium from Bengal, the policy has bean for some time to 
sell about the same amount every year, neither dimi- 
nishing that amonnt nor increasing it. This means 
of course that the average area under cultivation 
would remain about the same, rising or falling a 
little according to circumstances. I may also mention 
that the policy of the Government has not been quite the 
same in every province. In some provinces, such as Burma 
and Assam, it was believed that opium was consumed to an 
excessive extent, or that its consumption had specitiUy 
injurious effects, and in those provinces special restrictions 
were imposed, both by raising the rate of duty and by 
limiting the number of the shops. I am not sure that that 
policy was not carried too far in both cases. As re- 
gards Malwa opium the policy has been to raise as high^ a 
duty as the trade will bear, raising the duty when practic- 
able and reducing it when the trade was depressed and 
exports fell. It may be a question whether the Eesolution 
has rightly described this policy, but, in any case, the policy 
has been what I have stated. 

£078. That is to say, that a great diminution as regards 
exports is not a necessary part of the present policy of the 
Government, speaking generally P — Nor can I say that it has 
been in the past. My attention has been called to a state- 
ment made in the House of Commons by the late Mr. W. 
H. Smith, but I think he has described the policy he men- 
tioned as the policy of the Home (iovemment. I was not 
aware that that was the policy of the Home Government 
until the statement was made. The policy of the Govern- 
ment of India has been what I have stated, and I can say 
that from personal knowledge. 

2079. (Mr. Mowhray.) Among the subjects referred to 
the Commission is the amount of compensation to be paid. 
Does that mean the compensation to Native States or com- 
pensation tccultivators P — I suppose it must mean compens- 
ation generally ? — I have not sufficient means to make an 
estimate of the total amount of compensation, but the serious 



amount of compensation would be the compensation payable 
to Native States and to the inhabitants of those States. As 
you have no right to stop the cultivation of the poppy there, 
I suppose the amount of compensation would be a matter of 
bargaining with the States. It would be a large amount 
certainly, but I could not pretend to say what it would be, 
nor can I say what the States would accept. Opium is 
grown in a grent many Native States, and I have no doubt 
it is grown in States of which I even do not know the 
names. It would be a large amount, several crores of rupees 
I should say. A crore of rupees is ten millions of rupees. 

2080. Would you consider that there would also be com- 
pensation to the cultivators who had been in the liabit of 
cultivating under the Government of India P — Tliat is a 
difficult question. It the cultivators lost their pi-otits, and 
the landlords lost their rents, I suppose it would be a 
question whether they ought not to be compensated. If 
the lo<s was small, it would be unnecessary, but if the 
loss was serious, I should think that something would 
have to be done. I could not give any estimate of what 
the probable payment would be, but I do not think it would 
be anything like so large as the compen.sation payable to 
the Native States and to the inhabitants of those States. 

2081. I believe there are other products of the poppy 
besides the opium drug P— Yes ; the poppy seed is of consi- 
derable value. There is a good deal exported and a good 
deal used in this country. 

2032. Another point mentioned is the cost of the neces- 
sary preventive measures. Assuming that it would be 
impossible to prohibit growth in the M ative States, and 
assuming, as you put it, that the Government would have 
a right to prohibit the growth in British territory for the 
consumption of the people of India, do you think it would 
be possible with all the resources of the Government of 
India, to stop the export trade (an illegitimate export trade) 
to China or elsewhere P — I think a good deal could be done 
in the direction of stopping very large exports to China, 
because the opium sent to China is of considerable bulk, 
and it would have to go down the coast and be em- 
barked on steiimers and so forth. It might be sent no 
doubt to small vessels and transferred afterwards to 
steamers, but on the whole, T think, the export to China 
could be practically stopped ; but I am confident that the 
whole resources of the Government of India would be un- 
able to prevent smuggling from the Native States into 
British India. The States are interlaced with British 
territory, and the total boundary line between the Native 
States and British India is of immense extent, so that the 
prevention of smuggling from Native States into British 
India would be beyond the resources of the Government of 
India. I have no hesitation in saying so. 

2083. But you cannot give the Commission any evidence 
on the subject in default of the necessary information ? — I 
can give no estimate, but you would require a large army 
of preventive officers, and even with that army you would 
not succeed in preventing smuggling. 

2084, With regard to any possible alteration in the 
monopoly system in Bengal, I believe you have in the 
Punjab a system of acreage duty. Has that experiment 
been tried on a sufficiently large scale to enable yon to 
speak with any certainty as to its effect P — The system is 
peculiar to the Punjab, and the ciicumstances there are 
totally different from what they are in Bengal, but I be- 
lieve it will be found that the amount of taxation imposed 
on opium by that acreage duty is very much lighter than 
that levied on opium grown in Bengal. But other officers 
will be able to give accurate evidence on the subject. 

2085. {Mr. Wilson.) Did I understand you to say in 
reply to a question put by Mr. Fanshawe that the policy of 
the Government of India was hardly the same as that de- 
clared in the House of Commons by the late leader of the 
House, Mr. William Henry Smith P — What I said was that 
the policy of the Government of India was what I have 
explained in my answer. It might be a question whether 
that policy, as I explained it, was accurately described in the 
recent liesolution ; but whether it was or was not the policy 
of the Government of India has been what I stated. 

2086. The language of Mr. W. H. Smith was this : " The 
course which this Government has taken, and which all 
Governments have taken during the last few years, has 
been to diminish the area of cultivation in India " p — I 
should hardly say that he is speaking there of the policy_ of 
the Government of India : I should say that be was speaking 
of the policy of the Home Government, and I must say that 
I was not aware until that statement was made that it was 
the policy of the Home Government. I wish to add some- 
thing more to my answer. I do not know whether your 
attention was called to a question that was asked in tha 
House of Commons on a subsequent date — April 23rd, 1891, 



Sir David 
Barbour, 
K.C.S.I. 

18 Nov. 1893. 



INDIAN OPiUM COMSIISSION 1 



Sir David 
Barbour^ 
K.CS.I. 

18 Nov. 1893 



liv Mr. Macleau, Perhaps it is as well that I should read 
the question. 

" Mr. Maclean (Oldham). I beg to ask the Under- 
" Secretary of State for India whether the India Office 
" has any evidence to show that the recent rednction in the 
" area of poppj' cultivation in Bengal is due to the intention 
" of the Government of India to do away with the opiuna 
" revenue little by little, and not to the commercial neces- 
" sity for reducing production in order to keep up the price 
" in face of the increasing competition of opium grown 
" in China ; and whether the policy of the Government of 
" India, with regard lo this souioe of revenue, is correctly 
" expressed by Sir David Barbour, the Indian Finance 
"Minister, who in introducing his Budget for the year 
" 1891-92 said— ' The opium revenue has no doubt fallen 

' largely, and at this moment there are no indications of a 
" ' recovery. On the other hand, the fall up to date has 
" ' been discounted, and provision made to meet the oonse- 
" ' quent loss of revenue. As the fall has been so great, we 
'•' ' may fairly hope that for the present we have seen the 
"'worst.'" That remark was taken from the Financial 
Statement which I delivered in 1891-92. You will observe 
that I did not then contemplate any progressive reduction 
of the opium revenue, because I said we might fairly hope 
that for the present we bad seen the worst. Sir John 
Gor,st's answer was, — " The reason given for the reduction 
of the area of poppy cultivation in Bengal is that the re- 
serve stock (]f opium had l;eeome unduly large." Mr. 
Smith's statement might be taken to mean that it had 
been intentionally reduced in order to get rid of the pro- 
duction. The real reason was that we had had very good 
crops for a number of years and, as we did not want to 
sell more than a certain amount and a considerable quantity 
ot opium had accumulated in the reserve, it was not neces- 
sary, in order to supply the ordinary amount, that the 
usual area should be put under cultivation. Sir John 
Gorst added, — " The statements of Sir D. Barbour, no 
doubt, do correctly express the policy of the Government 
of India." 

2087. It really comes to this, that Mr. Smith was scarcely 
correctly informed as to the pcdicy of the Government of 
India when he made that statement to the House of Com- 
mons ? — I think some allowance must be made for i\lr. 
Smith, who unfortunately is not here to defend himself. 
Mr. Smith was not Under-Secretary of State for India, and 
India is a very large country, composed of a great many Pro- 
vinces, inhabited by great many races. There are a great 
many complicated questions connected with its administra- 
tion, and it is not to be wondered at that members of the 
Government at home should not be perfectly informed of 
the facts concerning questions that may be raised in the 
House of Commons. 

2088. Has your attention been directed to part of a 
speech by Sir James Fergusson on the same occasion p — He 
was speaking on behalf of the India Office, and he used 
these words: — "I freely admit that the Government ol 
India have never denied that it would be very desirable that 
this source of revenue should be altered. They have taken 
means to reduce it; they have diminished the number of 
licenses ; and tliey have diminished the area on which the 
poppy was grown. One hundred thousand acres less are now 
under poppy in Bengal than ten years ago P " — The amount 
of reduction may, as a statement of fact, be correct ; but I 
think it was shown in that answer of Sir John "Gorst's that 
the area was reduced because we happened to have a large 
stock of opium at the time. Therefore, to keep up the 
usual supply, it was not necessary to have so large an area 
under cultivation. In point of fact, the area Was reduced. 
As I s.aid in my evidence, it sometimes rises a little, and 
sometimes (alls, according to circumstances. If there are 
bad crops for a number of years, the r^ots are not so 
willing to grow the poppy. 

2089. Taking the statement of Sir James Fergusson as 
representing the India Office, aiii the statement of Mr, 
W. H. Smith, who was the leader of the House of Com- 
mons, I think you will agree with me that they can hardly 
have conveyed a correct impression to the House of Com- 
mons P— I cannot say what the impression on the House of 
Commcms may have been, but I believe that on various 
.occasions inaccurate impressions have been conveyed to 
that House. 

2C90. On the question of fact to which you referred ju.st 
aow, was it quite correct to say that the leduolion was 
100.000 acres P — I cannot give you exact figures, hut they 
will be put in. I dare say x have the figures here some- 
where. 

I will hand you the book, — " Finance and Revenue 
Accounts, and Miscellaneous Statistics relating to the 
Finances of British India," published in Calcutta, 1891 . 



'I'he figures are given on page 43. I have the cnltivatioo 
here for the last ten years,— the area under cultivation. 

2091. I find when Sir James Fergusson was speaking 
about the 100,000 acres that the amount for the year 1891 
was a little over 500,000 acres ?-Ye.s, I have that figure 
for I89I. 

2092. If vou take it precisely, the ten years that he has 
stated, that'is to suy, going back to 1881, it was 5.86,000 
acres P— Yes, I have no doubt that figure is correct if you 
find it in that book. I have not got it here. 

2093. So that taking ten years strictly it was 36,000, and 
not 100,000 P- I think that corroborates my statement that 
inaccurate observations are sometimes made in the House of' 
Commons. 

2094. But if you take it in a different way and compare 
it then with what it had been a short time before, taking an 
average of two or three years, it was no more than a reduc- 
tion of 35,000 or 36,('00 p— I have ten years' figures, and 
they corroborate what I said,— that the producticm some- 
times rises a little, and sometimes falls a little. I do not 
think you will find any very great fluctuation. 

2095. On the whole, it has been rather rising p — Of late 
years I think it has rather fallen off. For 1892-93, I find 
it is down at 456,000 acres. 

2096. It is substantially now just about the same as it 
was ten years ago ? — I do not think there is any material 
difference. 

2097. In 1882-83 it was under 500,000 P -Yes. 

2098. In 1889-90 it was under 500,000, so that it is 
practically the same ? — I think the fluctuations are rot 
due to any definite policy ; but it is a fact that in very re- 
cent years we have rather avoided any appearance of increase 
because we were liable to be attacked on account of the 
increase. We were liable to have it said of us that more 
opium was being grown, and that we were stimulating 
production and consumption, and therefore during the last 
few years we have rather avoided any increase of the 
cultivation. 

2099. On the same page of the same book there is a 
statement of the average produce per bigha? — Yes; it is 
customary to give the average produce per bigha. 

2100. The general appearance of the table rather goes to 
show, I think, that the produce is falling off pei- 
bigha. Do you know if that is sop — That is a question 
which was very much discussed a number of years ago, 
probably twenty years ago. There was a considerable fall- 
ing off, and a theory was started that the soil did not 
produce the same quantity of opium as it used to do ; that 
it was deteriorating for tlie purposes of opium cultivation, 
but just about the time we thought that theory was estab- 
lished, a change in the seasons toidt place, the produce 
became very large, and we had a series of very good years. 
Recently we have had a series of bad years : therefore I am 
not prepared to say that the power ot the soil to produO'i 
opium has or has not fallen off. You cannot base that 
conclusion on the results of only a few years. Certainly 
the last few years have been bad years. Formerly we had 
good seasons, and before that we had bad seasons ; perhaps 
we may have good seasons again. 

2101. You are aware that Sir Cecil Beadon gave evidence 
before the Select Committee on East India Finance in 
1871 P— Yes, 

2102. Do you know what his official position was then P 
— I fancy he had left Indi.-i before that date. I do not 
think he was connected with the Government of India 
then. 

2103. He had been Secretary to the Board of Revenue, 
Secretary to the Government of Bengal, and afterwards 
T,ieutenant-Governor of Bengal ?-~He was Lieutenant- 
Governor of Bengal, I know, in 1863. 

2104. I wish to ask you how far you agree with the 
statement here. He was asked this question — No. 3390 : 
'■Then the action of the Government has been, while en- 
couraging the use of opium in other countries, to discourai'-e 
the use of it among their own subjects"? He answered. 
"Certainly." Would you agree with that P— If you limit 
the production of an article by saying it shall only be grown 
in a certain area, and impose a high rale of duty on it, and 
only allow it to be sold in a Imiiled number of shops, and 
charge a heavy license fee, and say that it should only be 
sold between sunrise and sunset, and so forth, I should' say 
you distinctly discourage the consumption of that article. 



NoTB.-Mr Wilson rcs-icfs that qunations 2096-8 were pitt in rather 
loose and peihnps mislc.-idiiig terms, as on further examiualion of the talile 
ni question he finds thai the avcra?:c quantity of land under poppy during 
tlio tiTe years 1888-92 (the last in the table) is less than the averair" 
durins: the five years 1878-82 by uoai-ly 32,000 acres, being a reduction ol 
more than G per ceut. 



Minutes of evidence. 



9 



2105. I will read you two or three more queatioas aad 
answers.—" 3397 : What is the reasoa for that ? —The object 
"of the G-overamant has beea simply a fiscal object, to get 
" as much reveaue out of opium as it possibly ooiild. It 
" therefore sells opium to its owa subjects at as'higli a rate 
" as possible, and it also endeavours to derive from the sale 
" of the opium for exporfcatiou as large a price as it oau 
" obtain. 3398 : But in a fiscal point of view is it indif- 
" ferent to the Q-overnment whether it is consumed by their 
" oWn subjects or by the Chinese P— Not quite. The profit 
" upon opium sold for exportation is very much greater than 
" the largest profit which we obtain on opium sold to our 
" own people. We only sell the opium to our own people, 
" in order to prevent them from attempting to smuggle 
" opium and to sell it without payment of duty " ? — 
Prom a fiscal point of view you ask whether it is the 
same if opium is exported or sold for consumption in the 
country. Of course the aggregate revenue received 
from opium exported is greater than the aggregate 
revenue received from opium consumed in the country ; 
but teitainly in many provinces, I should say in a large 
number of places, the profit per pound on opium sold 
for internal consumption is greater than the profit 
on opium sold for export. I -should say that the profit 
on a seer of opium sold in Burma was much higher thivn 
on a seer exported to China, but it is a matter of calcula- 
tion which can be worked out without difficulty. The rate 
of duty on opium for internal consumption varies in 
different provinces. In some province] the consumption 
is comparatively small, and in others there are great facili- 
ties for smuggling. In those oases we do not charge so 
high a rate of duty as, for instance, in such a Province as 
Burma or Assam. 

2106. {Ghairman.) In Burma the Government have 
decided, have they not, to put restrictions upon the sale of 
«pium? — There always were stringent restrictions j but, as 
a matter of fact, it has been decided, I do not say by 
whom, that the consumption of opium by natives of Burma 
should be absolutely prohibited. I think that measure 
has just come into force, making, of course, an exception 
in the case of persons who have been accustomed to use 
«pium in the past. 

2107. (Mr. Wilson.) The next question that was asked, 
was this : " But it has been the wish of the Government 
not to encourage the consumption of opium among their 
own subjects." And he replied, " I do not think that the 
consideration has had much weight with the Government 
as far as I Uuow. I think their ohjeet has been to get as 
much revenue out of the consumption of opium as they 
possibly can." " And the Government would have been 
"quite readr to see it consumed by their subjects as well as 
" by the Chinese ? — I do not think the Government have 
" ever regarded the subject in that point of view, but only 
" looked upon it in a fiscal point of view, and endeavoured 
" to get as much revenue out of it as they possibly could."— 
That is the opinion of Sir Cecil Beadon, who, no doubt, 
bad the means of knowing what the policy of the Govern- 
ment was at the time ; but he is giviug evidence as to a 
fitate of things which has long passed. I suppose his 
evidenee refers to what actually took place about or before 
the year 1860. I should say that in the past, and especially 
in tne first instance, when the opium revenue began to be 
•coUeeted in this country, the point that "was looked to at 
that time, possibly almost exclusiveli', was the raising of 
the revenue. At the same time it must be remembered 
that the raising of the revenue had also the effect of check- 
ing the consumption, although that may not have been 
the object of the Government. The i-aising of the revenue 
does not stimulate consumption : it diminishes consump- 
tion. I am inclined to agree with Sir Cecil Beadon as 
regards the policy of the Government some years ago, 
that they looked mainly to the revenue question, and that 
the question, whether the consumption of opium was 
a great evil and ought to be checked by the Govern- 
ment was not raised, or not raised in a form that 
forced it upon the attention of the Government. 
That would be my impression, but I have not got 
personal knowledge of the facts. 

2108. Then he was asked, " Therefore you may say gener- 
ally that your sales of opium in India as well as in China iire 
adjusted to obtain the utmost revenue possible." And he 
said, "yes." Probably your answer would be the same P — 
I should say decidedly, that at present our desire is to 
pbtain the maximum revenue from the opium consumed in 
India : but it would certainly be incorrect to say that that 
is the only consideration before the Government at the 
present time either as regards India or China. As regards 
India, as I have said, we do take special measures in pro- 
vinces where the consumption of opium is helieved to be 



excessive. I am not at all sure now that those measures 
have not been carried too far, but they have been adopted 
to a great extent in deference to English public opinion. 
As regards China, the question of the opium revenue 
derived from the export of opium to China being under 
discussion, and the system being very strongly attacked by 
men whose opinions are entitled to every consideration, the 
Government has by force of circumstances rather adopted 
the policy of preserving the status quo, that is to say, — We 
will go on as we are, we will grow about the same amount 
of opium and sell it every year: we will not largely increase 
the cultivation, because we shall be attacked if we do so ; 
on the other hand, we do not think it necessary to diminish 
it ; we have adopted a middle course and preserved the 
status quo with reference to the China trade. 

2109. Did I understand you to say that you thought 
that, probably at the time to which Sir Cecil Beadon was 
refen-ing, the question of the consumption of opium as a 
great evil in the country had not been raised P — I will not 
say that the question had not been raised, but at any rate 
it had not been so strongly raised, or raised with such effect 
as to force it on the attention of the Government of India. 
There is no doubt that the pressure brought to bear by the 
Anti-Opium Association or by Parliament is very much 
greater than it ever was before, and that it has become a 
much more serious question ; therefore this question of the 
checking of the consumption of opium has been much more 
forced on the notice of the Government of India in recent 
years than was formerly the case. 

2110. Sir Cecil Beadon was asked this question ; "I under- 
stand you to say that opium is grown in India simply for 
purposes of revenue; no moral consideration at all influenc- 
ed the Government P " And his reply was : " The Govern- 
ment only regard opium as a means of obtaining revenue." 
Then he is asked, " If, for instance, they thought they 
could obtain more revenue by doubling the cultivation of 
opium in India, they would do so, and would not be deterred 
from adopting such a course by any consideration, as to the 
deleterious effect which opium might produce on the people 
to whom it is sold," and he replied, '-Probably not." — Sir 
Cecil Beadon no doubt had personal knowledge of the matters 
on which he gave evidence, and it would not be for me to 
contradict him as regards the times of which he spoke ; but 
I can say confidently that no consideration of revenue would 
have induced the Government of India to attempt to double 
the- cultivation of opium in recent years. I am quite cer- 
tain that if the Government of India had attempted any such 
thing the Home Government would have prevented it — that 
is the India Office ; and I am sure that, if the India Office 
had permitted it, Parliament would not have allowed it. 
Therefore, in fact, we never dream of such a thing as 
doubling the cultivation of opium. I may add tliiit it is 
doubtful if doubling the production of Indian opium would 
increase the revenue. We should have to pay a higher price 
to the cultivators, and we should doubtless receive a lower 
price for Indian opium. 

2111. You have referred to the revenue as being five 
raillious ? — The net revenue from the export in round 
figures is Rx. 6,000,000. 

2112. Are you aware of a statement made in the House 
of Commons this year by iVIr. Russell that that was not 
likely to be realized by Rx. 600.000 P— It is certainly 
doubtful if we shall get as much as Rx. 5,000,000 this yeai-. 
'I'he amount of revenue varies from year to year. We 
had a bad crop this year, and had not to pay for so much 
opium ; that is a gain, but on the other side the price has 
fallen. We may take it this year at five millions. It will 
be somewhat less unless the price rises, but probably it may 
be something more next year. At present the export revenue 
may be taken to be five millions. I would not depend on 
getting more than that. Of course it is liable to fluctua- 
tion; you may get a million or two millions more or less ; 
but five millions is a very fair estimate — probably it will 
be something under in the present year. 

2113. Mr. Russell said : " We now expect a reduction of 
Rx. 600,000 in the net receipts this year" — When the 
estimate was made for this year, we expected a rather 
better crop than we have got, and we expected a rather 
higher price than we have got. The poor crop is a gain to 
ns for the time, because we paid less for it. I cannot give 
the exact figure, but probably Rx. 400,000 would be the 
temporary saving. On the other hand, when the coinage 
of silver was stopped, the price of China opium fell at once, 
and we lost very heavily. I think we lost Ex. 130,000 or 
Rx. 140,000 in one sale alone, certainly Rx. 1(10,000. The 
price has since risen, but is still much below the original es- 
timate. Mr. Russell may have given that estimate, and ib 
laay have been a good one at a time, but it was very difficult 

B 



Sir David 
Barbour, 
K.C.S.I. 

18 Nov. 1893. 



10 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION 



'' I to make an estimaie immediately after the Indian mints 

r/nVr' ^^'^ closed. Possibly the revenue may be less this year by 
K.t^l. i|j_ 500,000 ; but you may take it that Rx. 5 000,000 is 
18 Nov. 1893. ^''""'' ^ f"''' average at the present time. 

— ^ 2114. Mr. Russell would not be likely to pat forward a 

more gloomy prospect than he could help or than the circum- 
stances at the time justified p — The price of opium lias im- 
proved since he made that statement. I can ^et the figures 
for past years. The averasfe used to he Rx. 8,f)21,00l). It 
was afterwards Rx. 6,907,000, and later Rx. 7 O00,t)ll0. The 
hndget estimate this year was Kx. 5.97'',000 including 
internal consumption ; but as iWr. Russell stated, that pro- 
bably may not be realized, by hnw much we cannot say. 
La-^t year the net revenue was Rx. 7,392,000, so that, 
in one' year, there was a falling off of Rx. 1,400,000. _ I'ro- 
baldy it will he a little more than Mr. Russell's estimate 
V!\ien the accimnts are mtde np, but I should expect a 
considerable proporliun of any loss to be recovered next 
year. 

2115. (Chairman.) It is a very considerable reduction 
upon the average of tlie last forty years .? — Five millions 
is much less than the average of recent years. Six millions 
is tlie total revenue; five milions from export.s. In the 
jireeeding yeir the revenue instead of being six millions, 
at yyliicb I put it, waa Rx. 7,'^92.000, and in the year before 
Kx. 7,lo5,O.W, aid in the ye ir before Rx. 6,69S.000, and 
in the year b>-fore that Rx. 7,949,000. It varies tVom \ par 
to ye.ir. Five millions for export on an average is a low 
estimate. 

2116. (Mr. Wilson.) Are you ayyare that the Anti- 
Opium party in England have rejfanied the payment of 
any deficit that niav arise as]a payment that ought to be 
made by Bngland as part of their polii-y and programme ?— If 
measures are taken which do a way with the opium revenue 
(0 any material extent, I really think that England would 
have to pay, and, ot course, in so far as Ensilaiid pays, the 
financial objection is removed. I myself would not recom- 
mend the abolition of the production of opium, even though 
England were to repay eveiy penny lost, because I donot 
approve of the measure in itself. 

2117. That was hardly my question. I asked you 
if yon were aware that that was part of the programme 
of the Anti-Opium party ? — I know there are members 

of the Anti-Opium party who are distinctly in 
favour of England paying if the production of opium is 
abolishel. 1 cannot say what the policy of the party as 
a party is ; but if you say it is the policy of the Anti- 
Opium party that Entjland should pay, I accept the 
statement. I know notliinij to the contrary. 

2118. In the Debate of 1891 Sir Joseph Pease, who is 
the President of the Society, stated that in the House of 
Commons ? — In so far as Encjland will meet the total loss, 
direct and indirect, due to any change of poiicv, so far the 
financial objection falls to the ground. There can be no 
question about that. 

2119. (Sir James Lyall.) So far as it is permanently 
met? — Of course I mean the whole cost. There is no 
question about that. 

2120. (Mr. A. Pease.) I think it is true that the reve- 
nue accounts lor the last few years do not accurately 
represent the returns of- each year, because there has been 
a considerable reduction of stocks ; is not that so t — There 
has been a considerable reduction of stock ; in fact there is 
no reserve now, I think. Hut th^ revenue acouuts show 
accurately the amount of revenue actually received in e.ich 

year. 

2121. In 188S-89 there wts a very considerable reduction 
of area under cultivation p — There was a reduction about 
that time. 

2122. Was any compensation given to the owners of 
the soil or cultivators when licenses were refused them in 
those years P — There was a reduction in the cultivation; 
but whether or not licenses were refused to men who 
applied I cannot say : I never heard of any compensation. 
Nobody would thinU of proposing compensation for such 
a reduction. I was at home in England at the tima, but my 
belief is that the reduction was made under the orders 
of the Government of India; hut what the precise nature 
of those orders was, I cannot say. 1 may lUfntion that 
had I been in India at the time, I should have recommend- 
ed that the area should not be reduced. 

2123. You mentioned that there was a considerable reve- 
nue to the Native States from the cultivation of opium ; 
have you any figures aou could give us upon that 
point? — The figures will be put in if possible. I cannot y;ive 
the figures myself, but we are preparing wha*" figures we 
can. No doubt the officers of the .Native States will give 



evidence. T tlrnk, however, they raise their revenue 
mainly by charging a Very high rent upon the land that 
grows the opium. Yon will be able to ascertain the facts ; 
I o.innot give any definite figures myself. Yon will 
find a great difficuity in getting accurate figures, but the 
best information available will be obtained from the Native 
States. 

2124. That is rent Oil land belon-ing to the Gfovem- 
ment p— It is diffieult to say to whom the land belongs. 
The l.md system here is different fiom what it is in 
England. In one sense the whole land belongs to the 
State. I fancy all the land in the Native States prac- 
tically heloi g« to the tiovernment or the State. 

2125. (Sir James Lyall.) In theory P-In theory. The 
cultivators have certain rights : that is to say, as long as 
they |iay their renti th-ty have the right to cultivate. 

2126. [Mr. A. Pea-ie.) Have you any information with 
regard to the revenue obtained by the Chinese (Jovernraent 
from the import of opium ? — It must be very considerable, 
but 1 cannot give you the figures. I think they charge 30 
taels as impon duty, and I think they charge about 80 taels 
as a Consolidated liUin duty. You can easily get the 
figures with regard to the import. 

2127. Have you any information with regard to native- 
grown opium p — I have none, and I doubt if you can obtain 
it. I have always understood that the Chinese Government 
get a larger rate of revenue from the imported opium than 
from tlie native-grown opium, and I have further under- 
stood that the Central Goveininent had a difficulty in get- 
ting into its own hands the revenue coUei-ted on the opium 
grown in China, because the money had to pass through the 
bands of the local Gover iiors, and tbej' appropriated as 
much as they could of it for the purposes of their provinces. 
I have no knowledge as regards the actual amounts. 

2128. In your view the consumption of opium is harmless 
in by lar the majority of eases. Under these circumstances, 
do you thinl< it is the right policy of the Government of 
India to discourage the consumption of opium ? — It is 
certainly the right policy to discourage to a reasonable 
extent any immoderate use of opium. It is a drug that is 
undoubtedly liable to abuse. 

2129. (Mr. Fanshaioe.) In answer to Mr. Wilson's ques- 
tions as to the (jovernment of India regarding ihe pro- 
duction and sale of opium, so far as the people are concerned, 
as solely a matter of revenue, do yon intend it to be 
understood that the moderate and beneficial use of opium 
has never received consideratioa on the part of that 
Government ? — Of course it has. 

2130. I understood you to say in answer to Mr. Wilson 
that you admitted that in the past the Government had look- 
ed on ihe question entirely as a matter of revenue. I would 
asl( you whether that is your meaning, — that the moder- 
ate and beneficial use of opium by the people has not also 
received consideration, at any rate of late years, by the 
Government? — I understood Mr. Wilson's question to refer 
to the state of things disclosed by the evidence of Sir Cecil 
Beadon. Sir Cecil Headon was an oflficial who had special 
means of knowing, and I apprehend his answers with regard 
to the time to which they "referred, and so far as his experi- 
ence extended, were coiTect. lint it is certainly tlie case 
that nioJeiatcand beneficial use of opium bas been brought 
to the notior of the (loveinment in recent years. Formerly, I 
do not think the case was inquired into. I must say that 
uniil the lasi two or three year.s, I myself was not aware of 
the extent to which opium was consumed in moderation with 
beneficial effects: but on inquiring into the subject, I have 
been surprised at the amount of evidence foithconiino- to 
show that it is consumed in moderation and with benefi- 
cial effects. 

2131. May we take it that it has received the considera- 
tion of the Government in recent years? — Yes ; of course 
every branch of the subject has received consideration of 
late years. Hut I think 1 may say that I, like other 
European oiBcials, started with a very dncided prejudice 
against opium, and that when I came to this country I, like 
many others, tlionght the consumption and production of 
opium was on.'? of the greatest evils in the world. But 
now, however, I have honestly and fairly come to the 
conclusion, and speoi dly within recent years, that I had 
greatly exaggerated the evil. That there are evils from the 
improper and excessive use of the drug I do not deny. 

'2132. (Sir James Lyall) In answer to Mr. Wilson's 
question about Sir Cecil Headon's evidence, you admitted 
thnt probably he correctly describe 1 the policy which liaj 
existed down to about 1860. Sir Cecil Beadon's know- 
ledge on the subject, I suppose, was confin ed to Bengal, 
b it my recollection is distinct that in the Excise Manuals, 
which were issued iu Northern India, under ttie name of 



MIKUTES OF EVIDICNCB 



11 



Thomasoii's Direotions to Collectors, and in the ouculais 
which were issued by the Punjab and North-West Provinces 
Goveriinieiits long before I860, the moral obligations of so 
managing the internal sale as to check the consumption 
of opium in India was plainly asserted. Have you ever Iwd 
to refer to these manunlsP — Never, and these ii.anuals 
would not come before me in the course of business. Sir 
Cecil Beadon's experience wouM no doubt be mainly, perhaps 
entirely, confined to bengal ; but insofar as he spoke 
of matters coming under his own ohseivation, I think his 
evidence is as good as that of any oi her person ; it is im- 
possible that be could speak with equal authority as regards 



the North-West Provinces or the Punjab. So far as his 
personal experience went, there could be no better authority. 

(Chairman.) It remains for me on behalf of the 
Comniission to thank you very much for your attendance ig w~ 

and for the very clear manner in which you have made 

us acquainted with ^our views. There is only one part 
of your evidence to which, in closing, I should refer, that 
is the statement that you are about to leave this country, 
I am quite sure that the Government of India will sustain 
a great loss in your departure, and I am none the loss 
clear that we at home shall greatly gain by your jiresence 
among us. 



Sir Darid 
Barbour, 
K. C.S.I. 

1893. 



The witness withdrew. 



2133. (Chjirman.) 
Medical Department ?■ 



Surgoon-Major-Gencral Rice, C.S.I., called in and examined 
Indian 



You are at the head of the 
-Yes. 



2134. I understand that you have been a member of the 
Indian Medical Service, bengal establishment, for tliirty- 
seven years P — That is so. 

2135. During thirty years of that time you have been 
employed as a Civil Surgeon in the Central Provinces ? 
—Yes. 

2136. And about twenty-eight years you have been in 
medical charge of District and Central Jails p — Yes. 

2137. For the last twenty-two years you were in charge 
of the Central Jails, and for several years you were Superin- 
tendent of Jails P — Yes, as well as in medical charge. 

(Chairman.) It is evident that you have had great op- 
portunities of gaining professional experience with reference 
to the questions referred to us. As we have the great 
advantage of the presence of an eminent member of your 
profession on the Commission, I will ask him to conduct 
the examination on the medical points on which you are 
prepared to give us information. 

2138. {Sir William Roberts.) I think it was your duty 
to examine the state of health of the prisoners that came 
into the jail P — Yes, every prisoner that came into the jail 
was brought before me for that purpose. 

2139. What was the number P — The average num- 
ber of natives passing through the jails in the year 
was about 1,300 or 1,400. 

2140. You had this charge for a large number of years P 
— I should say twenty-eight years. 

2141. What was the social condition of the prisoners P— 
Being mostly of the criminal classes they had no social 
position. 

2142. You were dealing not only with the lowest kind 
of criminal classes but those in the worst possible state of 
health ? — Yes, it was always my fluty to examine into the 
state of health of every prisoner on coming into the 
jail and wlien he was discharged. I estimate tliat about 
1,300 or 1,400 prisoners passed through the jail every 
year on an average. For the 22 years that I was in 
medical charge of a central jail, it was occupied by long- 
term prisoners from eight civil districts. In those days 
prisoners were transferred without any regard to the state 
of their health, so that I was de3ling nnt only with the 
lowest kind of criminal classes, but with those in the Worst 
possiblp state of health, for which with them the standing 
means of relief was opium. Being medical officer I was 
held responsible for any undue sickness and mortality that 
occurred, so that it became imperative on me to appraise 
carefully the state of health of every prisoner on admission, 
and, by a personal examination of every one of them at 
least once a week, to see how they kept their health during 
their imprisonment. So that I came, for a long series of 
vears continuously, to be intimately acquainted with the 
health- characters of a not inconsiderable body of individuals 
who from their mode of life are most prone to become 
addicted to the abuse of opium. 

2143. What do you mean by saying tha,t they were a 
body of individuals who from their mode of life were most 
prone to become addicted to the abuse of opium p— Ihe 
lower classes of India, speaking generally, become criminals 
when they are unable to earn their livelihood. The more 
General cause of their inability arises from sickness and the 
Tffects of a malarial and tropical climate on the human 
constitution. Then they naturally fly to this drug, which 
is more or less at their hand. It was an important part 



of my inquiries to ascertain the extent to which they 
were addicted to the use of it ; for several reasons, one of 
which was to enable me to determine the nature and extent 
of the labour wliich should ho allotted to them in each case, 
a duty which in all cases rested with me ; and also to enable 
me to advise the Magistrate as to the degree of culpability 
attaching to the prisoner when he failed to perform the full 
task awarded. I may explain that when a prisoner failed 
to complete his allotted task he had to undergo a trial, 
and he was punished if it was found that he lailed through 
carelessness or culpability of some sort. From my general 
knowledge of the people, as well as of these prisoners in 
particular, I became impressed with the fact that, when 
deprived of his daily dose of opiam, a man habituated even 
to the moderate use of it would fail to complete his full task, 
and in consequence it devolved upon me to state whether 
I tholight this occurred from the above deprivati.>n or from 
a vicious perverseness in the individual. In common with 
tobacco, alcohol, hemp drugs, luxuries in diet, etc., opium was 
forbidden as an article of ordinary use, uuder the prison 
rules. 

2144. Except for medical use P — I was always at liberty 
to prescribe it medically. It is a fact of which I have no 
doubt whatever that never from the very first years of my 
service did I recommend opium to be given to a prisoner 
as a special case in the form in which he had used it when 
free. That did not prevent my giving it in an ordinary 
pharmaeopsial form if I thought he required it. As far 
as I can estimate, I should say that in no mere than two 
oases in the year were men imprisoned who were suffering 
from the abuse of opium, and in those cases I was able to 
satisfy myself that this abuse was owing to pre-existing 
disease. 

2145. That is, out of the 1,300 or 1,400 cases annu- 
ally passing thro-igh your hands, you only saw two or 
three per annum who seemed to be suffering? — Two or 
three. In most of those cases the men had been previously 
suffering from repeated attacks of malarial fever, or dj'sen- 
tery, or diarrhoea, or severe rheumatism— diseases which 
are very prevalent in the provinces in which I served at 
the time, — the Central Provinces. In the Central Provin- 
ces, malarial fevers with severe ague and dysentery and 
diarrhoea, and, I should add, rheumatism, are diseases wii;h, 
which the people are aflBicted. In these, muscular pains, 
nervous irritability, griping, and tenesmus are commun and 
persistent, symptdms causing an amount of depression and 
inability to exert oneself that can only be appreciated 
through actual suffering. 

2146. I presume that your experience is entirely con- 
fined to the Central Provinces ?— Daring the last six 
or seven years, since I have come into the administrative 
charge, my experience has been extended beyond those 
Provinces. I have experience in the North-West Provinces. 
It may, 1 think, be safely stated that not ten per cent, of 
the population all over India ever consult medical men of 
any nationality practising the European system of' 
medicine. 

2147. Neverthless, I presume there is a dispensary sys- 
tem? — Yes, there is a large and extensive dispensary sys- 
tem. There is a strong prejudice against the European 
system of medicine, and 1 think I am right in saying that 
not twenty per cent, of the population ever see a medical 
man practising on that system. Practically, therefore, the 
great majority of the population are beyond the reach of 
such advice. The consequence is that either they consult 
Hakims or Vaids who invariably administer opium for 
these torments, or they have discovered its beneficial 
effects, and take it themselves. They soon have to take to 
it regularly, for these pains are ever present in one form or 
another and seriouslv hinder the people in their work. The 



Surgn.-Maj.- 

GetiL Sice, 

C.S.I. 



13 



INDIAN OPIUM COKMISSIOIJ; 



Snnin.-Maj - 

Genl. nice, 

C.6.1. 

IS Nnv. 1893. 



effect m snoli o!i?es is magical : a man literally disabled 
from these ills, after a dose of a quarter or half a ^Vfiin of 
pure opium, in a few minutes begins to become a new man, 
and is able to do a full day's woik. He knows tliat if he can- 
Ddtdo this he and his family must starve. Kven in the cases 
of Europeans who do not suffer anythini; like the hardships 
and exposure natives do, this drug is often called for, :ind in 
my bands has been equally successful. When the liuroneaii 
j;ets well he stops the drug and, as the Oiiuses of his ailments 
which obliged him to resort to it are in his case only 
occasional, he is not called u|inn to recur to the use of it 
soon aj^ain. Not so the native : he is always exposed to 
tliese causes and the resnlts never leave him, and as, for 
the reasons I have above stated, the use of oiiiuni is the 
o'llv relief available, he uiu^t resort to it continuously or 
die prematurely of disease or starvation. Taken in small 
quantities 

2148. What do yo>i meanhy small quantities P — Prol'ahly 
about half a grain. When the native takes it to relieve his 
})ains on beginning to work in the morning, he takes a 
little pill about the size of half a grain. That is the form 
in which ojiium is t.iken — a solid form — under the name of 
madak. From hmg experience he tiikes a little pill, and 
he probably measures it out most accurately— half a grain, 
or a grain if be is one of those who require more. 

2149. How many times a day will he take it ?— I cannot 
say accuiately. He will take it as often as he wants it. 

.2150. Do many take it half a dozen times a day p — Yes, 
just as one man may tidce half a dozen cigars v^hile 
another will only smoke two. Taking it in small quan- 
litie.=, — and, as a rule, it must be in small quantities, for 
cpium is dear and the native too poor to indulge in it 
unnecessarily, — the individual leads a healthful and if not a 
vigorous or robust life, certaioly one in which he is enabled 
to maintain himself and his family in tolerable prosperity. 
In these remarks I am dealing with what is called the 
bulk of the people. I do not profess to describe what 
a wealthy native gentleman would be. I am talking of the 
poor people with whom professionally I haye most been 
brought in contact. 

2151. All the evidence you are giving bears on the' 
liabit of taking opium in malarial districts among the 
lower classes who are really suffering under what one may 
call a malarial constitution p — Quite so. But a small per- 
centage suffer so severely from the effects of the diseases I 
have named that they must resort to the drus in steadily 
increasing quaotities, and 1 presume it is irom those in- 
dividuals that pictures of the injuiious effects of opium 
are drawn. 

2152. Is it your sugirestion that dysentery, rhcnmatio 
conditions, diarrhoja, and malarial trouble increase in some 
cases in spite of the opium ? — Yes. 

2153. Therefore they take it more and more p — Yes, they 
increase the dose according as the effects of the disease 
become more sevei'e. 

2151. It is your suggestion also that if they were not to 
increase the dose they would be iu a still worse plij.'htP — 
Considerably, certainly. 

2155. That is distinctly your suggestion? — Th^t is dis- 
tinctly my suggestion. 

2156. The unconscious exaggerations and pictures of the 
effects of opinui taken in excess have been somewhat mis- 
interpreted p — They have no g-eneral applicability. 

3157. In spite of the opium ? — In spite of the opium. 

2158. If a man is suffering from malarial disease or 
organic disease tending to go from had to worse, if he takes 
opium for the relief of suffering his disease will go on and 
he will have to increa.se the opium, but the symptoms are 
the symptoms of the disease and not of the opium that he 
takes ? — That is my experience. 

2159. You do not seem to have had any experience of the 
opium habit except in the case of persons suffering from 
some ailment— no experience of the habit among perfectly 
healthy people P-^I do not think 1 can say that, because £k 
number of those persons bad the appearance of being per-: 
fectly healthy. 'I hey may have had attacks of malarial 
fever and dysentery : stilj J could pot pronounce ^betn un- 
healthy. 

2160. You still think that the malarial influence is about 
them?— Those diseases suggest the use of opium. I think 
it may be stated that there is no native of India who does 
not at one time or other suffer from malarial intermittent 
fever, 



2161. You make so general a statement .is that ?— I 
think there is no native of India who dois not at one time 
or other suffer from malarial intermittent fever. 

2162. Have you ever been to I^ajputana p — No : I do not 
know anything about it. I am talking of the Central Pro- 
vinces, except for the short time I was iu the North-West. 
They are a malarial people in the Central Provinces, and 
they also suffer severely from dysentery, diairhcea, and 
rheumatism. Without this remedy at their hands and 
readily accessible, the sufferings of the people would he very 
great. As I have stated above, it may be accepted th.it 
medical relief for the great bulk of the people is non-exist- 
ent, and I regard it as most providential that such a remedy 
as opium is within their reach. 

2163. You are aware that a new plan has been intro- 
duced for supplying quinine? — Quinine will n"t curedysen- 
tery or diarrhcea, and the charge is .so high for it tliat it is 
a good deal beyond the reach of the poorer classes of the 
people even at 3 pies a dose. A man with an attack of in- 
termittent fever has to take at least thrte doses a day for 
four days, and perhaps one dose a day for eight or ten days 
subsequently, Iheii he may not only have to procure it Ibr 
himself bxrt for his wife and all his children. It is not 
uncommon to see a whole household dnwn with intermittent 
fever at (me time. Quinine is a good deal beyond the meaus 
of the very poorer classes, in Bengal espHcially. 

2164. Am I to understand that, dear as opium is, an 
effective dose of it is cheaper than an effective dose of 
quinine ?— It is cheaper for a great number of diseases. 
It is practically of no use as a curative uf intermittent 
fever. Hearing in mind that there are a number of dis- 
eases the painful effects of which it relieves, besides 
malarial fever, it is more generallj' useful. 

2165. (Mr. Fanshawe.) You know that the system of 
selling (jovemment quinine at post offices has been intro- 
duced ? — I know it in Bengal. To be of any use you must 
give three doses of five grains a day for four days. 

2166. The system has only just been introduced p — I ana 
aware of the circumstances. 

2167. (Sir William Boherts] You know that the de- 
mand for it is much increasing ? — Yes, I admit that. Al- 
though there are a number cf people too poor to buy it, 
there are a number who wipuld be only too glad to get it. 

2168. Opium is still cheaper than quinine? — Practically, 



opium is 



because I have an idea that a good deal o*" 
used in India that has not ft^id revenue; therefore they get 
it cheaper. The recollection is familiar to me of prisoners 
declaring that their inability to peiform their allotted tasks 
was owing to their being deprived of their small daily dole 
of opium. It was also well recognized among the jail 
officials that, no matter how successful they may be in 
excluding tobacco, spirits, or other forbidden articles, they 
were never sure of being able to keep opium out of the jail. 
iMost people believed that, owing to its small bulk and the 
ease with which it would be concealed, it was constantly 
being smuggled in and in free use among the prisoners. 

2169. That is your experience with regard to prisoners 
mainly? — Yes. 

2170. But your experience is wider than that ? — In singt 
ling out my experience among prisoners, it must not be 
understood that my experience lay altogether among persona 
of this class, [t should be recollected that during all the 
years named above I have bad to deal with native infantry 
and cavalry soldiers, policemen, and some hundreds of 
thousands of patients resorting to charitable hospitals and 
dispensaries. 

2171. All those oases were within those malarial dis- 
tricts ? — Yes. 

2172. You have spoken of soldiers. Have you had 
experience of Sikh regiments? — 1 have never liad a Sikh 
regiment. 

2173. Your general experience among the native infan-. 
tTy soldiers, policemen, and patients in hospital confirms 
your vievfs with regard to the effect on the prisoner? — ^^ 
Quite so. iViy general experience with the latter classes 
confirms me in my opinions as to the mode of use and 
effects of opium among the former. It should also be 
recollected that there is a sort of popular idea among Gov- 
ernment officials of all classes and nationalities that any 
unusual slackness or inactivity in the performance of their 
duties, or sickness, the prominent signs of which was lethar- 
gy, on the part of their subordinates, was due to the abuse 
of opium, or to an occasional debauch with it. In conse- 
quence it was a common occurrence with me to have my 
attention dirtjcted to the possibility qf tjiis being the cause 



MINUTKS OF EVIDENCE. 



13 



of the individual's temporary incapaoity. But the result 
of my inquiiifs wiis just the reverse: the slugjrishness was 
due to his inability i'rom one cause or another to procure 
his usual dose. 

2174. Your impre-ision is that it was the secondary 
effect of opium ratlier than the primavy that was the 
CHUse?— Yes, it was the seooudary effect — the want of 
the accustomed stimulant. 

2175. It has been brought before the Commission by 
several witnesses that it is a marked peculiarity of opium as 
compared with other dietetit: stimulants that the want of 
the dose is more severely felt than in the case of alcohol 
and tobacco ? — That has been my experience. 

2176. Mnoh more pronounced ?— Much more pronounced. 
I am talking of the generality of people who use opium. 
There are exceptional cases, but, ordinarily speaking, a man 
can more easily go without alcohol and without tobacco 
than he can without opium. 

2177. I suppose you have no suggestion to give us why 
that should be the case? — I have not. 

2178. You take it as an ultimate fact? — I take it as 
a fact, but I can offer no reason. 

2179. Suppose you had a prisoner who had been an 
opium-eater and unable to perform his allotted task, how 
long would his inability continue— his iniibility for the 
want of his customary stimulant? — That is so uncertain 
that I could not give an answer. 

2180. A week ?— It is too conjectural for me to give an 
answer. I do not know. 

2181. How soon would a man recover? — I could not 
say. Men are different. It would vary. Perhaps one 
man would take a week and another a month. 

2182. But he would recover? — Yes, he would recover ; 
and if I could only he sure that he did not get opium sur- 
reptitiously I should say that he recovered from withhold- 
in" it from him. But I was never sure that he_ would not 
o-et his dose surreptitiously. The improvement in jail in a 
great many cases was due to regular habits, regular diet, 
regular clothing, and no excessive work. 

2183. The habituid nse of opium did not seem to pro- 
ducepermanent damage?— No; I mean, of course, in the 
generality of cases among the great masses of the people. 

2184. I think you stated that the alleged causes of 
insanity from opium in asylum.'i are few, and that even when 
those few have been inquired into, they have broken 

^(,yfa ? Yes. I was twenty-two years medical officer aud 

Buperintendent of a lunatic asylum. 

2185. As far as your personal experience goes, people in 
these malarial districts take to opium first as a remedy 
lather than protective ?— Quite so. 

2186. And perhaps, in some eases, from the increasing 
stress of their ailments, they take it so that it becomes an 
evil ; th.e opium itself is taken in such quantities that they 
Buffer from the opium as wall as the disease ?— Only m 
those few exceptional cases that I mentioned in regard to 
the'piisoners, not the general body; they do not suffer 
until old age eomes, when they suffer in common with other 
peoplp, 

218T. I sappose you are aware that the doses you have 
told us about are very small as compared with the dose of 
many opium-eaters?— Of course, but they take it several 
times a day ; how often I cannot gay ; I have no personal 
knowledge of thg,t. 

2188 Three to five grains a day ?— Probably, but I have 
no personal knowhdge, and I do not wish to state anything 
that I do not know personally. One of the reasons 1 hid 
for mentioning these details is to show what means I 
had or was obliged to resort to, of ascertammg the 
fflects of opium on the people as it is used by the great 
masses of them. If such nse of it as they now resort to 
were even restrieted only, it would be productive of a 




know 



drink or drugs, that could be substituted for opium. 



Quinine, besides being expensive, is useful only in n.alarjal 
fevers and has little or no effect in relieving the torments 
of dv«entery, diarrhcsa, rheumatism, etc. It will be no- 
ticed that on the madrn that "two wrongs will never 
make one right," I abstain altogether from defending the 
use of opium on the grounds that it is not nearly so de- 
moralizing as alcohol, aud that we should look at home 
a mean England) as to the effect of the latter before going 
abroad to trouble ourselves with the former. I do not look 



upon this as at all a satisfactory line of argument. To me Surqti.-Maj.- 
it appears that the fact of our not being able to prevent Genl. Rice, 
the abuse of alcohol is no reason at all why we should leave C.S.I. 

opium alone, if it is anything like so destructive, physically • ■ 

and morally, as it is represented to be. 1^ ^'tv. 1893. 

2189. I presume that you must diaw a distinction be- 
tween the use of opium as it occurs in these districts, which 
is scarcely more than medicinal, and the cases we hear of 
persons taking opimn in very much larger doses, not for 
any disease but as a dietetic stimulant? — Certainly, I re- 
cognize that difference. 

2190. May I assume that you really have had no expe- 
rience of the effect of opium when used as a dietetic stimu- 
lant in healthy persons? — I should not say that. My idea 
was that, although they used it as a dietetic stimulant, they 
selected it because of the relief it gave from the pains and 
torments I have described. 

2191. They really take it for medicinal purposes ?— Yes, 
if you choose lo put it in that way. 

2192. You would not say that of the Chinaman who 
takes his opium pipe? — How can we say that the Chinaman 
does not take it under the same influence as the Indian 
does and for the same purposes ? 

2193. You do not recognize the use of opium as a dietetic 
stimulant in the fame category as tobacco and alcohol — 
not taken for disease, but as a pure restorative, or comforter, 
or stimulant ? — That is a question that requires a good deal 
of consideration. I am not at all sure that either alcohol 
or tobacco is necessary as a dietetic stimulant. 

2194. Not necessary, but they are taken by millions ? — 
They are taken by many, but the question is whether, in- 
stead of calling them dietetic stimulants, they are not taken 
to relieve malaises and discomforts which may or may not 
arise from dietelic errors. Why should we not say that 
people take tobacco or opium from causes which ai-e pretty 
much of the same nature as those resulting from residence 
in a malarial climate, such as the discomforts attendant on 
some derangement of the health ? A man takes a cheroot 
after breakfast. 

2195. But he is not ill ? — He may have dyspeptip 
feelings and be uncomfurtable. 

2196. You scarcely recognize alcohol and tobacco as a 
comforter for perfectly healthy people?— Why do they 
resort to them ? 

2197. Because they get comfort ? — What do they want 
comfort for ? 

219S. There is nothing in the world that we look for so 
much as comfort t* — But something must create the want. 

2199. The man wants it to promote an enhanced sense 
of well-being ? — If he is a perfectly healthy man, he has as 
much well-being as is good for him. I have seen it stated 
that the natives of India are by natai-e mnoh more tolerant 
of the action of opium than those of China or Upper Burma. 
I really believed this is only a general popular notion for which 
there are no substantial or rational grounds, except the one 
that Indians have been accustomed to opinm from time im 
memorial, and in their case a constitutional tolerance may 
have been developed. I have no experience with Chinese, 
but I have had a goodly number of Burmans under m\ 
medical charge in jail, and I did not perceive any more or 
less toleration of the drug when administered medicinally 
on their part as compared with the Hindustani prisoners. 
Besides, I have satisfied myself in my professional practice 
that, Kuropeans are more tolerant— i.e., require larger 
doses ot opium— than natives, bulk for bulk. Yet the former 
have acquired no tolerance of it as a race. It may be said 
that the Indians having been accustomed to the use of 
opium from time immemorial, a constitutional tolerance 
may have been developed in the course of ages ; but this 
cannot be said of the Europeans. 

2200. You say that Europeans require a larger dose ?— 
I have found it so,— to produce the same medicinal effect. 
I mean that to pioduce the same effect from a medicinal dose 
of opium in a European you would have to give a larger 
quantity of it than you would to a native ; and it may be 
said in answer to that, that it is because the European has 
acquired a t.ilerance of it ; but we know he hag not 
acquired any racial tolerance. 

2201. Do you mean that the tolerance was there 
before,— that the European came into these malarial 
districts with that tolerance ?-What I wish to say 
is that the Europeans have no toh-rance of opium- 
no more tolerance than a native, although they re- 
quire a larger dose to produce the same effect. I will 
put it iu this way. A European requires a larger dose 



14 



INDIAN OPIUM CoMiUlSSlON 



S\irgn.-]UaJ.- 
Genl. Ricej 
C.S.I. 

18 Nov. 1893. 



of opium than a native to produce the same effect. 
It may be answered, then, that tlie European has acquir- 
ed a tolerance ; but it will be generally admitted that 



Europeans have not acquired a tolerance as a race. 

2202. Is it a congenital tolerance P — Yes ; and the point of 
mv remark is that if Europeans require a lurger dose, or 
lake a larger dole, of opium to produce the same effeois, and 
they cannot be said to have any tulcrance of it, so also the 
Indians may be said to have no tolerance, altliougb they may 
take a larger dose as a race. Tje point I want to sliow is 
that the Indian is not more lolerant of opium than a China- 
man or a Burman. 

2203. With regard to tlie medicinal nse P — Yes. In 
this connection it may nut be amiss if 1 mention that in the 
early years of my professiiiiial practice I learned that to 
produce the full lieneKcial medicinal effects of opium, uiuch 
larger doses ofit were necessary than is laid down in bonks 
or than were prescribed by my brother medical officers in 
India. As time and experience gave me conlidence in this 
direction. I became what may be called a fearless prescriber 
of the druij ; doubtless timid persons would describe me 
as a reckless one. But this never deterred me ; it was 
sufficient encouragement to me tliat my patients got well 
of their diarrlioea and dysentery within short peiiods. 
My practice lay in districts where these bowel complaints 
are yearly very prevalent and very fatal, being especially 
harmful to young European children. They occurred mostly 
in the rainy season — a time when the rivers being in flood 
there was no getting away from them for change of climate 
as can be done nnw with so much facility in these days of 
railways. I enter into these otherwise trivial details in 
order to convey some idea of the extent to which I became 
familiar with the various uses and eti'ects of opium, and of 
the yeoman's service it did me during thirty years of exten- 
sive professional practice. 

2204. Has it not struck you that your experience of 
a more fearless nse of opium was due to the fact that 
you were practising in malarial districts, and that the 
people were more tolerant p — It may be so. In regard to 
young children not more than a year old, of course I do 
not say that they might not come under the malarial influ- 
ence too : it may be so — I do not deny it. 

2205. Yon never have prescribed opium except for a 
complaint P — Xo, never. 

2206. Therefore it might have been a complaint 
touched with malaria? — Y'es. 

2207. That may be the explanation V — It may be so. 

2208. With regard to the whole of yonr experience 
it seems to be an experience in the medicinal effect of opium 
and not in tlie effect of the opium habit P — It is none 
the less a habit, although it may be acquired from being 
taken medicinally. 

2209. It seems in your experience to be connected with 
illness from malaria, or malarial influence? - 1 helieve that 
IS the first thing that induced the people to take it. There 
is one other fact I ought to mention, and that is the habit 
of mothers amon? the pooler classes in India giviug a little 
opium pill to their children when they have to leave them 
to go about their household duties, or go away from their 
houses for any little time. They have no nurses or otiier 
jieople to look after the children in their absence, and if the 
children are awake they wander about and tumble into wells, 
or have some other mischance. The mothers yive the child- 
len this little pill of opium to keep them quiet during 
5 heir absence. Probably in that way they have acquired 
the habit of taking opium in their childhood. 

2210. Have you any idea of the quantity given under 
those circumstances? — It looked about the size of a pill, 
one-eighth grain of pure opium. I may also tell you that 
the opium these people use is largely adulterated. It is 
mixed with foreign substances, probably of a harmless 
nature. 

2211. {Mr. A. Pease.) I understand it to be your view 
that there is no more necessity for Indians to consume 
opium than for Europeans? — A greater necessity for 
Indians. 

2212. Under the same circumstances?— They are not 
under the same circumstances. 

2213. You say the natives are more susceptible to the 
influence of opium than Europeans, that is, a smaller dose 
will produce the same elfect upon an Indian, bulk for 
bulk p — l''es, given medicinally. 

2214. (Mr. Wilson.) I notice that you have expressed 
a certain amount of disagreement with some of your profes- 
sional brethren in your early years with regard to the use of 



opium. Does that difference of opium continue p — I cannot 
say that I have spoken to ray professional brethren upon 
that point. I do not think I have any experience which 
would justify my giving an answer one way or the other, I 
have not made inquiries ; but it is a curious fact that one 
medical officer, speaking to me yesterday, mentioned that he 
also had found it necessary to prescribe larger doses of 
opium in this country than were prescribed or laid down in 
the Pharniacopceia. 

2215. (Sir William Eoherts.) Where was his experience 
gathered? — He was in Calcutta chiefly. 

2216. {Mr. Wilson.) You have expressed some little 
difference of opinion as to practice from some of your pro- 
fessional brethren ; does that difference of opinion conti- 
nue P — I cannot say. 

2217. Do you know Russell's book on malaria which re- 
lates particularly to Assam p — 1 have heard of the book, but 
have not read it. I have never been in Assam. 

2218. Dr. Russell uses this language : " The opium-eater 
enjoys considerable immunity from malarial alfections in 
the early stage — the first few years of indulgence in the 
habit before the organic visceral changes are set up, and the 
ji'eneral shattering of constitution results, which prematurely 
break down the consumer of opium, and render him an easy 
prey to diseases of every kind " ? — My experience does 
not coincide with that. In my opinion the disease from 
which the man suffered arose from other causes, — from 
climatic causes in spite of the opium. 

2219. Then Dr. Eussell deals with prisoners in jail. He 
says — " No work can be got out of a long-confirmed opium- 
eater. He can digest nothing but light food —milk or soups. 
On ordinary diet he sulfers from diarrhoea, tending to 
rapidly run to d^'Sentery. His systenj has very slight heat- 
making power, lie is extremely susceptible to any changes 
of temperature, and cannot stand cold ; he thus is specially 
liable to both chest and bowel disorders." — I have no expe- 
rience of that in the Central Provinces. 

2220. (Dr. Rus.sell further says :) " The emaciation of the 
opium-eater is characteristic and extreme. Eveutuallv 
after having been a source of mfiuite care, after repeated 
courses of medical and dietary treatment, after having 
caused large expenditure in sick diet, extras, etc., he 
perishes, usually of a chest or bowel disorder, or, perhaps, 
from practical starvation from eventual inability to digest 
any kind of food, even the lightest and most delicate ? "— 
My experience in the two or three cases per annum which 
I have mentioned always enabled me to detect the disease 
as the cause of death, and not the opium habit. The disease 
went on and progressed to a fatal issue, in spite of the use 
or abuse of opium. It was the disease that killed the nan, 
and not the opium. I differ from the conclusions diawu in 
that book. 

2221. Further on it is said— "The observatinns of several 
surgeons, of extensive experience in opium-eating regions, 
confirms the popular belief that the opium-eater, in the oaily 
stages of the habit, while as yet not constitutionally broken 
by its lon^ continuance, does, as a matter of fact, enjoy con- 
siderable immunity from malarial affections." It would 
appear from the whole tenor of this that Mr. Itussell thinks 
that in the earlier years of a man it affords some relief, but 
that afterwards it breaks him down, and, I take it. leaves 
his later state worse than his first ? — He and I are in a^-ree- 
ment, until the disease has so far made progress that the 
man gets worse and dies in spite of the opium. I say the 
man dies from the disease ; he says he dies from the opium. 

2223. {Mr. Waridas Vefiaridas.) Y'ou say that the pri- 
soners were not allowed to lake opium? — No, it is prohi- 
bited according to the jail rules. 

2223. Did you give them something instead until they 
got rid of the habit? — No, except in the case of these two 
or three men a year, who, I found, were e.\tieiiiely \ieak 
and suffering from liie abuse of opium. I tre.ited them lor 
the specific ailment trom which they were sntt'eiinn- which 
was generally bowel complaint, chronic diiirrh.jea, or'chrmiio 
dysentery. I am bound to add that opium entered largely 
into my treatment of their cases. 

2-.?24. When they got rid of the habit in jail, were they as 
healthy and strong as those who entered th'e jail not taking 
opium?- They were not so healthy and strong bee i use 
they were coiistitutioiinlly weak and leehle fiom pre-esistin" 
disease. But I was never sure that they were not getting 
opium surreptitiously through the prison warders. I could not 
give a positive answer, because there was always a suspicion 
that opium was being surreptitiously introduced. 



MIKtTRS Of EVIDENCE. 



15 



2225. (Mr. Fanskawe.) You spoke of the miilarinl dis- 
tricts. I tViink you have had experience in eight dift'eieiit 
districts in_ the Central Provinces P— I Wiis referring to tlje 
eight districts from which the prisoners were transferred. 

2226. You spoke of tnah\rial districts P— Not particularly 
malarial districts, but liaviug the ordinary surroundings of 
nialaria wliioh are so common in this country. You meant 
it in that sense p — In that sense. 

2227. All the districts of which you have practical ex- 
peiience in the Central Provinces? — Yes. 

2228. Has it been jouv experience that opium-eaters who 
live in these malarial surroundings continue the habit wbioh 
Tou desi-ribe without a tendency tu increase the dose large- 
ly, or to increflse it at allp— I am not suflRciently acquaint- 
ed with the quantities they take to enable me to };ive nn 
answer from personal observation. It is generally under- 
stood that they have to increase the dose ; but I have no 
personal knowledge whether they do so or not, 

2229. You state as the result of your experience that a 
moderate use of opium in these districts is, to some extent, 
general among the people ? — Yes. 

2230. That is what I understood to be your meaning? — 
That is my meaning. 

2231. That the moderate habit of eating opium among 
these people is fairly general and well established p — 
Quite so, 

2232. {Sir James Lyall.) As you have had some ad- 
ministrative experience, you may be able to answer the 
question I am going to put. You have said tliat opiani is 
greatly used as a medicine and stiniuLmt by the people 
of India. Can you conceive any practical system wheieby 
oT)iuni could he provided all over tbe country for mediciil 
purposes witbout facilitating or allowing its use as a stimu- 
lant or an intoxicant P Can you conceive any system by 
which it could he done ? — As far as the Medical Depart- 



ment in India is concerned it is impracticahle. The agency 8urgn-Maj.- 
is not suHiciently extensive. Qenl. Rice, 

2233. Would the agency be trustworthy? — The hn Ik of ' 

the agency would be untrustwortby. 'I he temptation to 18 Nov. 1893. 
sell or to make use of it privately would he too great. — 

2234. (Mr. Wilson^ There has been some evidence that 
the opium is sometimes, or frequently, taken fur the pur- 
pose iif exciting and stimulating sexual passion : do you 
know anything about thni p— I have no knowledge of tliat 
from personal statements by patients. Aman in my position 
is not likely to come into relations of that sort as regards 
the Use of opium for stimulating the sexual piissions on 
the part of the natives. I have no experience of that. I 
have heard it said, but I have no expeiience. 

22:'5. (The Maharaja of Darbhanga.) You have said 
that one of the reasons why people in ihei-e malarial districts 
take opium is tliat the Hiikinis and Vaids, their practi- 
tioners, are in the habit of prescribing opium for diarrhoea 
and dysentery ; and you consider that opium is the cheapsst 
medicine ? Do \ ou not think that there are other medicines 
besides opium, — more popular ones, — which are admissible 
for diarrhoea and dysentery, vegetable substances P — Those 
vegetable substances prescribed alone are not nearly so 
eHicacious as when a little opium is added. I do not say 
that opium was the only thing prescribed. 

2236. Do you not think that generally in cases of 
diarrhoea Mud so on the Hakims and Vaids prescribe more 
of vegetable extracts like the bael fruit p— Undoubtedly 
th y presciibe bael fiuit, catecliu. and kino. Other ii'dige- 
nous astringents are prescribed moderately. They also 
prescribe opium. 1 did not say tbnt it was the sole di ug. 

2237. Do you not think that bael fruit is more popuUr and 
more usually prescribed in cases i>f diarrlioea and dysentery 
than opium" p — It is very popular; but my experience is that 
it is not nearly so efbcaeious as when prescribed with opium 
add'sd to it. 



The witness withdrew. 
Adjourned to Monday, the 20th instant, at 10-30. 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Buildings, Calcutta- 



EIGHTH DAY. 

Monday, 20th November 1893. 



PUFSENT : 



Thb Right Honotjeabxb LORD BRASSEY, K.C.B. (Chaieman, pbbsidino). 



Bib James B. Lyall, G CLE.. K.C.S.T. 

The Hon'blb Sib Lachhmeswab Singh Eahadue, 

MahaEaja of Dakbhanga, K.C.I E. 
SiE William RoBEaTS, M.D. 
Mb. R. G. C. Mowbbay, M.P. 

Bishop J. M. Thobtj 

2238. (Chairman.) Will you kindly state to us your 
profession and occupation p— I am a Missionary. At present 
lam Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church for India 
and Malaysia. 

2239. How many years have you been in the Bast P— 
Thirty-four years. 

2240. In what part of the East have you had personal 
exparience ?— Only in India and Malaysia. 

2241. In what pai-ts of India ?— In all parts ; my present 
duty is to superintend all the missions of our church 
in the Empire. We have missions among thirteen different 
races, and 1 am expected to visit all these sections every 



Me. a. TJ. Fanshawe. 
„ Arthdh Peasb. 
„ Habidas Vihaeidas Desai. 
„ H.J. Wilson, M.P. 

Mb. J. Pebscott Hewett, CLE., Secretary, 
EN called in and examined, 
year, so that I have hi.d a very wide observation of India 
generally. 

2242. Have you a large number of natives amongst 
those who are under your spiritual supervision? — About 
5U,0C0. 

2243. Ai'd of various races, I presume p — Chiefly in 
North India. We have some of all these races. Our chief 
force is in North India. 

2244. You might give us in a general way a sketch of 
your experiences, showing the special opportunities that 
you have had of forming » judgment upon the ques. 
tion which has been referred to the Commission? — 



Sishop J. M. 
Thoburn . 

20 Nov. 1893. 



16 



INMAN OtlXJM COMMISSIOU ; 



20 Nov, 1893. 



Sishop J. M. In my early life I was constantly amonsr the people, 
'Ihoburn. spendiag a gi'eat deal of my time in the villajres, making; 
touisi among the villages and towns, and I tbink I enjoyed 
the confidence of the people sufficiently to have the oppor- 
tunity of understanding; their views and feelings upon 
public questions generally. 

2245. What were the conclusions at which you arrived 
with reference to the opium question ? — In the main I have 
for many years heen convinced that it is a very great evil ; 
not so much, however, to India as to China. I have had 
opportunities of seeing this at Singapore and Penang, 
where the Chinese population is in the majority. In every 
place I regard the opium habit as a very bad habit and 
very dan;;erous to those who indulge in it ; but it is very much 
move hurtful among the Chinese than it is among the 
people of India. 

2246. You would not say that the opium habit exists to 
such an extent in India as to cause what you might call a 
general demoralization and degradation of the people ? — In 
many parts of India they do not use opium at all. I have 
been in provinces where I never met a man who used 
opium; in other parts it is a very prevalent vice. It is 
worse in Rajputana and in parts of the Punjab than it is 
in Ivohilkhand ; while in Kuniaun and Garhwal I never met 
a case. Altliough there might have been some there, I 
never met them. 

2247. Take the Punjab. Is the condition of the people 
physically and in general ways otherwise than satisfac- 
tory ? — Their physical condition is very satisfactory, unless 
they are victims of this or some other habit. The Punjabis 
are a very fine race. 

2248. They compare favourably with the populations of 
other parts of India where the opium habit does not pre- 
vail? — They are a finer race naturally. 

2249. What would you say of the people of Eajpntana 
as compared with other races in other parts of India? — 
The lower classes of Rajputana are an inferior class. There 
are many classes in India ; and sometimes living in the 
same village or in the same city, you will find one class 
who make a very fine appearance, and another class who 
appear to much less advantage. The lower classes of Kaj- 
pntana I have generally found a very inferior class. 

2250. Is the opium habit as generally prevalent among 
the people of Rajputana as it is among the people of the 
superior classes ? — I think it is more so. 

2251. Have you anything to say to us with reference to 
the hold that the opium habit gains upon people ? — 
There is a very great difference iu individuals. Sorce 
people, apparently, can use opium and give it up again 
without very much trouble ; with others, however, it is 
nearly impossible to give it up. Among the Chinese beyond 
a doubt it has a fascination that is peculiar. Intelligent 
Chinese have told me down at the Straits that it has_ a 
fascination for then' race that alcohol has not. Still, 
among the people of India, there are also a very large 
number who cannot give it up without extreme suffering. 
An ordinary opium-user, after he has become confirmed 
the habit, is simply terrified if you propose to put him in a 
place where he cannot get opium. 

2252. Is there a marked difference between moderate 
and excessive consumers ; and can you form any judgment 
as to the proportion which the excessive consumers bear 
to the total number of persons who make use o£ opium P — 
It would be very difficult to form an estimate, but as a 
general rule you can tell when a man begins to use it to 
excess. He shows it on his countenance very quickly. It 
would have to be a mere guess if I were to be asked 
how many do use it to excess. I should say that amouj; 
those who have money enough to get it, at least one-half 
would use it to excess, aud among the poorer classes about 
one-tenth. 

2253. Can you tell us what proportion of their income 
the habitual consumers spend on opium ? — ^The very 
poor people spend about one-eighth ; that is, the minimum 
Hhich a labouring man uses, — one pice a day. The maxi- 
mum sum that a man belonging to the labouring class 
who has become an habitual user of it would spend would 
be four pice a day. These men earn from eight pice to 
twelve pice a day. At the lowest a man spends one- 
eighth of his income on opium. The highest labouring 
classes spend from one-third to one-half : it is very common 
to have them spend one-half. Then as he earns only, say, 
three annas a day at the highest, in my opinion one of 
the very worst features of the opium habit is that it 
starves the children. There are from forty to fifty mil- 
lions in the l^mpire who have insufficient food as it is. 



When you take one pice out of the earnings of a man who 
only gets eight pice a day, and who already has not enough 
for his family, you must cause suffering among the children. 
I thiok that the worst evil of the habit to-day is that it is 
starving millions of the children of India, 

2254. Would that apply to the district of Rajputana 
more particularly ?— It does apply to Rajputana to my 
certain knowledge. 

2255. What would you say about the Punjab?— Much 
the same among the poorer classes. Those classes in India 
which we call the " depressed classes " are the same iu all 
parts of India. 

2256. Can you give us a general view as to what in your 
experience are the results of the opium habit, — whether 
viewed physically, mentally, or morally ?— Physically, 
where it is used at all to excess, it undoubtedly weakens the 
constitution after a very few years. That differs in natives, 
however. Some cau use it for many years without much 
apparent harm ; but if you take fifty confirmed opium- 
smokers and look at them, you v,\\\ find that forty are 
physically wrecks ; they show it at a glance. With regard 
to those who eat opium the effects are not so bad. There- 
is a very great difference iu my opinion between eating, 
and smoking, and drinking. They take it in all three 
forms. 

2257. In the Punjab, is opium chiefly taken in the sofici 
form.'' — In the solid form. Sometimes they mix it with 
their drinks, but I think that is more common in Raj- 
putana. 

2258. Among the Chinese it is chiefly smoked ? — The 
Chinese prefer smoking: but recently, about three 3'ears 
ago, somebody introduced morphia into Singapore, and it 
became very popular ; so much so that two years ago it 
seriously affected the revenue. But a, Chinaman told me 
last April that he thought morphia was becomiag less po- 
pular. 

2259. Have you any experience as to the value of opium 
as a pioteetion against attacks of fever, especially in 
malarial districts ? — I think that it is a popular delusion. 
I have never met a doctor in my life in India who would 
prescribe opium in any form, either as a preventative or as 
a cure. The Natives of India, especially the more ignorant 
classes, are subject to all manner of notions. They believe, 
as, indeed, most people do in the world, that anything that 
makes a man feel more comfortable is doing him good. 
When they are more or less shaken with fever, they take 
opium, and it undoubtedly makes them feel the effects less ; 
but that it cures there is no reason to believe whatever. I 
have been in districts where the natives will expose their 
children perfectly naked in the rain in order to cure 
measles ; and nothing will persuade them that that is 
not a good cure. 1 never heard of a case iu my life o£ an 
intelligent doctor using opium iu any form iu treatiug fever. 

2260. Upon this particular point you give your opinion 
to the best of your ability as a layman p — Certainly as a 
layman. I ought to say, however, that I have had expe- 
rience in the most sickly belt of jungle in India where 
they use no opium at all ; aud in sections of Bengal where 
they do use opium, and where some of our Civil Surgeons 
affirm that it does protect them from fever, they do not 
seem any more exempt than in other sections where they 
do not use it at all. 

2261. Have you any experience as to the value or other- 
wise of opium as enabling people to bear an unusual 
amount of bodily toil ?— I have given some attention to 
that .subject. They can carry heavier burdens when iindev 
the influence of opium, — perhaps 50 per cent, heavier, — 
and they can do a larger amount of work in a given time, 
but they cannot endure as much. It gives strength, but 
not endurance, it inevitably tends to break down the 
system. Coolies have told me that if they carried, for 
instance, 80 lbs., an opium pill would give them abnormal 
strength — sufiBoient to enable them to carry 120 lbs, Hut 
in Sin-iapore, where we have 10,000 men who draw jin- 
rickshaws, and where it is commonly said that they could 
not do the work without opium, we have quite a number 
of Christian Chiuamen who work with the others, who do 
not use opium, and yet can put in their full day's work 
apparently without difficulty. But the reaction that is 
caused by the taking of opium must in the nature of the 
case, and as a matter of fact undoubtedly does, break down 
the constitution. An intelligent Chinaman in Singapore, 
and a man who is connected with the Opium Revenue, 
told me last April that in his judgment the 10,000 jin- 
rickshaw men do not live on an average more than seven 
years. I asked an intelligent physician if he thought that 
was correct, and he sa'd he would not like to aav without 



MINUTES OF 14VIDBNCB. 



17 



statistics, bnt undoubtedly it shortened their 
much. 



lives 



very 



2262. Have you anything; to tell us with reference to 
the light in which the opium habit is regarded in public 
opinion from a moral point of view ? — It is considered as a 
public vice generally. In sections where the use is more 
eommon it is in less disfavour. Wherever the Hindustani 
language is spoken the term "aphimi " is used as a term 
of abuse. There is a certain sting about the term "aphimi" 
wliich does not belong to the epithet " drunkard." The 
opium-user is always a man who is untruthful, — that is, if 
he is a confirmed opium-nser. Many of them will steal. 
They will do anything to get the drug. Hence it is looked 
upon as disrepatable. 

2263. Are you prepared to say from your own personal 
knowledge that persons who consume opium are generally 
unreliable and dishoni'st P — Unless they are well-to-do 
men. If they have money, they are like other men ; but 
if tliey have not money and they have become confirmed 
in their habit, they muRt have it. Hence 1 would not 
trust one of them. I never think of trusting their word. 
With regard to the ordinary people. I cannot say that it 
makes them dishonest or untruthful. But in the main a 
man who gets the reputation of being addicted to the usa 
of opium, even if it is not a besotted case, undoubtedly 
suffers in reputation. 

2264. I believe in China it is a matter of common know- 
ledge that many of the natives in China who are employed 
in confidential possitions in mercantile houses and banks are 
more or less consumers of opium ? — I do not doubt that. 
As illustrating what I have said, I went to the shop just 
up the street a few weeks ago, and I stood and watched the 
people buying. The man who sold told me that the highest 
quantity any man bought was 2 oz. a day. Thit costs a 
rupee and a half. When a man must have a large quantity 
and he is a poor man, there is only one way to get it ; but 
the class of persons that Your Lordship speaks of in China 
are not poor men who are driven to any such necessity. 

2265. With regard to the licensing system, do you con- 
.sider that the existing system of granting licenses for the 
sale of opium tends to the spread of the habit, or do you 
think it may be regarded as a restrictive influence ? — I 
should say that anything which is put on sale publicly will 
have its use increased. No matter what the article is which 
is exposed for sale freely, it must in the very nature of 
the case have its use increased. People generally think 
that because it is under Government restiiotion it is 
literally a Government interest. That also tends to help 
it. I do not think any article can be sold publicly withont 
increasing its consumption. That would hold true of 
sugar. 

2266. (Sir James Lyall.) What do you mean by-opium 
being sold publicly and sugar not sold publicly p — They are 
both sold alike at present. 

2267. One is free to be sold iu any number of shops, the 
other only in a limited number of shops and subject to a 
heavy duty ? — Every shop increases the use. There is a 
better chance for sugar, perhaps, but both have a chance. 

2268. The restriction of opinm to a very few shops is a 
restriction, surely ?— Of course every shop that is closed is 
so much in favour of public morality, but as long as you 
keep enough to supply the public, in the nature of the 
case the use of opium will continue to increase. 

2269. (Chairman.) If the Government adopted the 
policy of prohibition, naturally the sale would be much 
more restricted than it is under the system of licenses, but 
the system of licenses, to a certain extent at any rate, 
operates as a restriction as compared with the permission 
of free sale without license by anybody who chooses to 
offer the article .P— Certainly, as in the case of liquor._ The 
outstill system was much more pernicious than the limited 
system. Anything that reduces the number of shops is 
better than free trade. 

2270. Can you tell us whether the closing of shops for 
the consumption of opium on the premises has beenfuUy 
carried out in the localities with whicli you are acquainted, 
and if so, bow long that change of system has been in force ? 
—I think it is carried out as far as I know everywhere 
now. It lias been carried out in Calcutta since last April — 
I think about that time— perhaps March. 

2271. Have the results of this change been in your ex- 
perience beneficial? — Undoubtedly they have._ Some 
private clubs have been set up, I am told, in the city, but 
I think they will do much less harm than the public 
opium dens which we used to hav:e. 



Thoburn. 
20 Nov. 18y3. 



2272. Do you consider it desirable to prohibit the sale of jjiskop J. M. 
opium altogether, excepting for medical purposes P — 1 do. ^ " 

2273. Would public opinion be in favour of such a 
measure P — I sliould say in answer to that question that 
if you will take a million of people from the higher dus-ses, 
and about thirty to fifty millions from the lowest classes, 
putting them out of consideration, the bahmos of the people 
of India would be overwhelmingly in favour of closing all 
the shops. Many of those men who are intelligent enough 
to understand the political hearings of the question would 
be opposed to closing the sliops, and I should think many 
of the lowest classes would think it a great hardship. But 
the rank and file of the people, what you might call the 
general average of the Indian people, would be overwhelm- 
ingly in favour of closing. 

2274. Do you recognize any exceptional difficulties in the 
enforcement of such a measure by a (Sovernment constituted 
as is the Hritish Government of India p — I see nothin<r 
very difficult. I think they would have to consider tl'.e 
question of the confirmed opium-users ; at least I should be 
very willing as an individual to ste some consideration 
shown in those cases. 

2275. You recognize that the British Government in 
India is especially desirous of giving consideration to native 
opinion in all that it does? — L'ertainly ; but native opinion 
is overwhelmingly on the other side. 

2276. That is as far as you are able to judge? — I have 
had some opportunities of ascertaining in all parts of the 
Empire ; it is my opinion. 

2277. You can only give us your opinion. Supposing 
that prohibition were adopted, how would you propose that 
the loss of revenue resulting from such prohibition could 
best be made P Do you feel prepared to propose additional 
taxation for that purpose ? Does your experience enable 
yon to suggest economies, or any other waj' of meeting the 
difficulty P — I am not a British subject, and naturally feel 
a little hesitancy in expressing opinions upon some of these 
questions. I might say that the people of India are ex- 
tremely sensitive about any increase of taxation. If they 
were to be assured that there would be no increase of taxa- 
tion in any form, 1 think they would be unanimously in 
favour of doing away with the business. Perhaps I may 
be allowed to make a suggestion or two. If tobacco were 
put in the place of opium, I think it could be made to yield 
almost the same revenue, certainly it would yield one-half 
of it ; and then if Ihe Home Government were to take into 
consideration the fact that the heaviest military expenditure 
at the present time is in the North-West (the North-West 
Frontier question is a Bur'opean and not an Indian question 
^Constantinople is the objective point and not Delhi) — if 
the Imperial Government would pay part if not all the 
military expenditure of the North-Western Frontier, this 
question would disappear in a moment. 

2278. There are two more general qnestions that I would 
like to ask you. Do you think it is possible that the bad 
repute in which it is alleged the opium trade is held is 
owing to the persistent representation of missionaries in 
India and China? — That view has been put forward in 
some of our Indian papers recently, but I think it absurdly 
improbable chiefly for the reason that the question is just 
the same now as it was a century ago. Attbs impeachment 
of Warren Hastings, one of the articles of impeachment 
arraigned the opium traffic in quite as severe terms as any 
missionary has done in modern times. At that time there 
was not a Christian missionary in China, and only about a 
dozen in India. The question has not changed: I think 
the unanimous opinion of the missionaries ou the subject is 
owing simply to its moral bearings. 

2279. You are aware, are you not, that by a recent de- 
claration of the representative of the British Foreign Office 
in the House of Commons, the position now taken by the 
British Government as regards the opium trade in China is 
that it is free to the Government of China to adopt any 
policy they may thiok fit with regard to the importation of 
opium ? — I am aware of that. 

2280. It has also been represented on the part of the Gov- 
ernment of China in conferences with Sir Thomas Wade — I 
may also say in the correspondence and negotiations, that 
have more recentlv taken place between the Marquis Tseng 
and Lord ftranville and Lord Salisbury— that at the present 
time the Chinese Government seemed disposed to treat this 
question rather as a fiscal question. — I have beard of those 
representations. The missionaries who regard the whole 
trade as immoral would naturally hold their former views. 
That is a political phase of the question upon which I do 
not feel competent to express an opinion. 

a 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION ; 



SMop J. M. 
Thohurn. 

20 Nov. 1893. 



2281. Ton naturally regavd tLis matter, and fitly so, as 
a moralist? — Certninly. 

2282. Do you think that there is any practical danger of the 
opium habit spreading among the Indian people senerally P 
— I think if the present policy is pursued, probably it will. 
I think there is very great clanger, becanse the people are 
slowly becoming more prosperous all over the country. 
If they have the means, and if the sale of opium is in their 
reach, 1 think there is great danger that it will spread to 
all parts of the Empire, and become a very common 
habit. 

2283. Do you know anything of the statistics of the con- 
sumption in India p— I do not. 

2284. You are not prepared to say that there are statis- 
tics which show an increased consumption per head of ihe 
population in recent years P — I have not had opportunities 
of collectini; such statistics, I had not expected to appear 
before the Commission until recently. I am travelling all 
the time, and I have not had opportunities. 

2285. {Sir William JRoberts.) I think you said that 
the belief in the good effects of opium as a prophylactic in 
malarial districts was believed in some districts and not in 
others? — Yes. 

2286. I presume yon speak rather of what medical men 
have told you ? — Ko ; I speak from personal observation. 

2287. From what the natives told you P — Certainly. 

2288. Do you know of any districts in India where there 
is not a belief in the useful power of opium — any malarial 
districts ? — It was India I referred to. 

2289. Could you mention any districts ?— In the Tarai 
Districts of Kohilkhand. I have not been there for some 
years; but when I was there some thirty years ago, I never 
heard of an3' opium being used at all, and that is the most 
malarious district in all India. 

2290. It is a sort of negative evidence, as T understand, 
that you did not hear it spoken of as a prophj' lactic ? — I 
think I certainly would have discovered it if it had been 
there. 

2291. Is that the only district where you did not hear 
it spoken of ? — I am told that in some parts of Lower 
Bengal it is not used : but I cannot say so from personal 
ohservation. 

2292. You were speaking ahout the expense of the opium 
habit to the very poor. Of course you have heard it said 
that opium enables a man to do with less food P — Yes. 

2293. I presiime that is scarcely an opinion you would 
endorse P — I believe it does, I believe a man eats less 
who uses opium. 

2294. And can do with less, so to speak ? — If you call it 
" doing," he can. 

2295. Of course you are also aware that the belief in the 
prophylactic power of opium in malaria is not confined to 
ignorant people? — I am aware of that. 

2296. And that it is helieved in by high medical authori- 
ties ? — "When I first came to India nearly all your doctors 
taught me, and taught us all thirty-four years ago, that we 
could not live in this country without alcoholic drinks. Now 
the majority of doctors say otherwise. 

2297. Do you regard drinking as bad a vice as opium p — 
I always think that question is like asking which is the 
worse, a cobra or a kiait ; they are both so bad. 1 should 
say the alcoholic habit is more violent and creates more 
disorder. Parents who use alcoholic drinks are very willing 
to have their children learn the habit ; hut I never met 
parents who used opium who were "willing that their boys 
should learn the habit. I never met a man, who even 
apologised for the use of opium, who was willing that his 
children should learn the opium habit. 

2298. The smoking habit ? — Yes, or any other. 

2299. I presume you are aware that it is a common cus- 
tom among the natives to administer small doses of opium 
to their children — to their babies even p — I am glad you 
have mentioned that. It is a very pernicious custom, aud 
it is regarded as a vice by the people generally. Only two 
weeks ago one of onr own teachers was complained of to me 
because he allowed his wife to administer opium to his child- 
ren. The natives generally regard it as a vicious practice. 
It leads to the death of a good many children, and it certain- 
ly injures a great many of them permanently. I knew of 
the case of one of our own missionaries whose infant, 
about a year old, had been dosed in this way by a native 
nurse, aud the child almost lost its life. It is a very dan- 
gerous practice. 



2300. Of course you are aware (hat the tolerance of 
native infant and of an Buropean infant would probiibly be 
different? — But the native infants undoubtedly suffer, at 
very least that is the common opinion. I made inquiries 
about that yesterday. 

2'iOl. (Hfr. A. Pease.) Do you confirm the statement made 
by Sir William Roberts just now, that your observation 
would show that there is a difference of toleiance between 
a native infant and European ?— No, I have not noticed 
any difference. 

(Chairman.) It is very much a professional question. 

2302. {Mr. A. Pease.) Ave any members of your churches 
opium-consumerep— We do not admit any person whp 
uses opium. 

2303. If a person heoomes a consumer of opium, does he 
remain a member of the church ?— He would be put under 
discipline. 

2304. Can you give us the reason ? — As I have said be- 
fore, the use of opium in my opinion is inconsistent with 
a correct Christian life. It creates certain vices that no 
otlier habit does that I know of. I once asked the Com- 
missioner of Police in this city why it was he ch)sed the 
opium shops at six o'clock in the evening, at sunset, ami 
left the liquor shoos open until nine. He replied that all 
the bad characters in the city would he found congregated 
in the opium shops, and lie did not dare to have them open. 
The whole practice is looked upon as a vice. 

2305. I gather from what you say that there is less 
susceptibility to moral and religious influences in these who 
consume opium than iu those who abstain ? — Undoubtedly. 
It takes the moral stamina right out of a man. 

2306. {Mr. Wilson.) I am anxious to understand the 
exact position o£ the iVlethodist Episcopal Mission in this 
country. I think your bead-quarters are in America p — 
Yes. 

2307. Am I right in believing that the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in America is one of the largest Christian 
denominations iu the United States ? — It is the largest. 

2308. Is It numerous ? — It is numerous. 

2309. Your missionaries here are sent from the United 
States p —Yes. 

2310. I am not sure whether you told us how many mis- 
sionaries you have in this country p — I could not say at 
this moment. I should think ahout eighty, — that is, 
foreign missionaries. 

2311. Do you know the number of native missionaries? 
— We have a very large number of native preachers of all 
classes : I suppose we have over a thousand. 

2312. Are some of your missionaries medical mission- 
aries P — Qnite a number. 

2313. You refer to the Rajputs. What is a " Eajput ?" 
— A Rajput is the descendant of the ancient warrior caste 
in India. They have settled in what is called Central 
India. They are remnants of the old warrior caste, and 
occupy that territory. 

2314. Are they what I might call a kind of aristocTaoy ? 
— They used to be. I should say they are at the present 
time. For the most part, their Native States are very 
much reduced, but still I should say they are regarded all 
over India as forming a kind of aristocracy. 

2315. In that part of the country does the term 
"Rajput" refer to the people at large or to the upper 
classes p — I should say it would refer to the upper classes. 
It is a caste term. In many parts of India you meet 
the term of "Rajput": that refers to caste. But the 
country is called Kajputana, and I should say that most 
persons when they use the term " Eajput " refer to the 
people helonging to that caste. 

2316. 1 thought yon said in reply to Lord Brassey that 
you never knew a doctor who used opium in cases of 
fever ? — I said so. 

2317. Afterwards I rather understood you to qualify that 
in reply to Sir William Roberts, and that you said you 
were aware that a good many people use it ? — I did not in- 
tend to say so. I did not think that question was asked. 

2318. You had referred to a popular opinion of ignorant 
persons ? — I simply understood Sir William Roberts to say 
that many doctors held that doctrine ; but as a matter of 
fact, I never knew of one using it in his practice. I have 
been told by medical men that it does good, aftd that it 
does serve as a preventive ; but I never found one who 
used it for that purpose himself, and I have aslcBd many. 



MINDTES OP KVIDENCE. 



19 



2319. Does lie reoommend it to his patients P-Never. 
1 legaid the whole thing as a mjth. 

2320. You were asked a question as to whether this 
opium was regarded as disgraceful. As far as India is 
concerned, were you referring to smoking, eating, or drink- 
ing P — Every form. 

2321. Alike ?— No, not alike. Opium-smoking is held 
In worse repute than opium eatin;? or drinking. Opium- 
Bmoking is regarded more unfavourably than opium-eating. 
But iu any form of it, when a man gets a reputation of 
being a confirmed user of opium, it undoubtedly injures 
his standing. 

2322. Am I right in thinking that opium-smoking is 
most common in China, and that opium-eatius is most com- 
mon in India P — You are perfectly correct. Opium-smoking 
in India, as I'ar as I have observed, is confined to cities and 
towns. When I have been down at the Straits 1 have been 
told by Chinamen that they always piefer smoking. 

2323. You referred to a large number of races in India 
with which your missionaries are more or less connected. 
Are you at all of opinion if an action took place, or any al- 
teration was made, that it would be practically possible or 
desirable to discriminate in any way between one (lart of 
the country or another, or between one race and another ? — 
1 do not think it would ; not under the present circnm- 
stances. Kverything iu India is becoming cosmnpolitan 
now. All the different tribes and races and langnagei are 
mixed together in such a way that I think it would be im- 
possible to draw a line. 

2324. You referred to what had been represented, I 
think you used the expression, " by some of our Indian 
papers." May I ask what class of papers vou referred to 
to as " Indian papers " ? — The Tioneer of Allahabad was the 
leader in the matter. It took that position. I think 
one of the Bombay papers followed. I cannot say how the 
others went. I only see the papers in the section of India 
where I may be ; but the Pioneer started the disc\issiou by 
representing that the whole thing could be traced to the 
opposition of the missionaries, especiallj' in China. 

2325. Have you any general knowledge of the attitude 
of the native papers printed in the Indian language? — Not 
sufficient for me to form an opinion. I have not read any 
paper recently. I think, as I said before, they would be 
largely influenced in their views with regard to the ques- 
tion of taxation. 

2326. When you used the expression " our Indian 
papers " you really meant Anglo-Indian ? — Anglo-Indian. 

2327. You referred to the use of opium being worse than 
alcohol in its promotion of certain vices. May 1 ask you 
to what you referred p — I was told in Singapore by a 
gentleman who had gone in disguise through the city that 
there was not a public woman in the city of Singapore who 
was not an opium-smoker. I have often been told that it 
undoubtedly does lead to immorality in the sexual sense 
of that word. 

2328. Would you say that it was taken for that purpose, 
or that that resulted p — It was an accessory to the vice. 1 
believe it was kept for that purpose. 

2329. Do you know anything about the cultivation of 
the poppy P— Not very much. 

2330. You do not care to say much uponthat subject?— 
I have not had a chance to live in districts where they 
cultivate the poppy to any great extent. 

2331. (Mr. Mowbray.) You have told us that a large 
number of children are actually starving in consequence of 
the waste of money spent on opium by their parents?— I 
mean they are receiving insufBcient food. 

2332. Have you any reason to think that if the parent 
spent lexs upon the opium, if it were possible to prohibit 
the use of opium, those same parents would not waste 
their money on ganja or alcohol or any other form of 
stimulant ? -If they could get it, they probably would. 

2333 Therefore, in order to prevent the evils which you 
have pointed out as arising from opium, it would be neces- 
sary to go a great deal further and prohihit those other 
things besides p— Ganja ought to be prohibited anyhow. 
It is probably more harmful than opinm. And the liquor 
habit produced the same effect to my certain knowledge in 
Bengal at the time of the outstill system. The worst evil 
that resulted from it was the starvation of children. 

23.94 {Mr. Earida.i Veharidas.) Have you ever visited 
Guiarat, Kathiawar, or Kutch P— I have not been in Kathia- 
war • I have been in Gujarat, but not in Kutch. I have been 
in and about Baroda. 1 have been at Ahmedabad also, but 
only to make one visit. 



2335. Did you see the same thing about opium as you Bishop J. M. 
saw in the Punjab and Hajputana and other places ?— I Tholurn. 

cannot recall any instance where I saw anything whereby I 

Can speak from actual observation. With regard to Gujarat 2" ^°'^- ^®^^- 
my knowledge is limited. ~ 

2336. [Mr. Fanshawe.) Will yoa kindly tell me in what 
provinces your actual experience haa been? You said Northern 
India generally. Do you mean in the Punjab and the 
North-West Provinces p—1 lived first in Kumaun and 
then in Garhwal, then in Rohilkhaud, then in Oudh. Then 
iu more recent years I have frequently beeu in the Doab 
between the Ganges and the Jumna. 

2337. Have you had any practical experience iu the 
Punjab of the Sikhs ?— Very little. 

2338. It is mainly in the North-West Provinces and 
Oudh that your experience has been? — Yes; but I have 
constantly met Punjabis. 

2339. Yon say the opium habit is starving millions of 
children. To what province does that apply? In which 
province do you wish us to understand that the poorer 
classes so largely consume opium that millions of children 
are affected by it?— As I remarked before, the classes 
that we call the " depressed classes," — the term given 
by the Census. 

2340. In which provinces? — In all of them. 

2341. You are not speaking them from your own know- 
ledge: your knowledge is in the North-West Provinces 
and Oudh ? — As far as I have seen, the conditions being the 
same in other provinces, the result would be the same. 

2342. Is the opium habit now so widely spread in 
those provinces that millions of children can be said to he 
starved, — even accepting your view ? — Not millions in 
those provinces, but I speak of the 284 millions of India. 

2343. You are generalizing from what you know in the 
North-West and Oudh ? — And Bengal. I have lived 
twenty years iu Bengal. 

2344. You spoke generally of the general average of 
Indian people, and said that their opinion was overwhelm- 
ingly iu favour of entire prohibition of the sale of' opium. 
What provinces would that apply to ? — I was speaking of 
all India. 

2345. I want to get it a little more in detail. As re- 
gards the funjab, there is the Sikh population which is 
supposed to eat opium as a racial matter ; then there is the 
Eajput, who is supposed to eat opium as a racial matter; 
do you wish it to be understood that in tho.se particular 
provinces there would be an overwhelming opinion against 
eating or smoking opium ? — I am not prepared to admit 
that it is a racial matter with all the Sikhs. 

2346. lam only asking you to 'which provinces j'ou wish 
your statement to applj' ?— I refer to the whole of India. I 
have been in contact with the people sufficiently to enable 
me to speak, that is in the provinces in which I have lived, 
with a population of 125 millions. Speaking from observ- 
ation among those 125 millions, I should say, with regard 
to the whole Empire, that my estimate is a very moderate 
one. 

2347. Then here, too, you are generalizing from your ex- 
periences in two provincs. Do you still say that the general 
average of opinion amongst the natives would he entirely in 
favour of total prohibition?— I should say in six or seven 
provinces. 

23i8. Meaning the North-West Provinces, and Oudh, 
and Bengal ? — The North-West Provinces, Oudh, Bengal, 
and Behar. It is about half of India. 

2349. Then as regards ftajputana, I wanted to bring 
out one point with reference to Mr. Wilson's question. Is 
not the term " IJajput " used generally to cover the whole 
of the residents in KajputanaP There are llajput cultiva- 
tors and Bajputs occupying other positions in society p — I 
think you would offend a liajput in Rajputana if you spoke 
of a Chamar as a Kajput. 

2350. You seem to distinguish between the lower classes 
and the upper classes : there are Eajput cultivators, are 
there not ? — Yes, plenty. 

2351. You have expressed an opinion that smoking 
opium is more deleterious than eating it. You said the 
objections did not go so far as regards eating opium p — 
That is my opinion. 

2352. I think you also said your own view was that 
smoking opium was regarded generally by the natives 
as being objectionable, or more objectionable than tie other 
habit ?— Yes, I did. 

C 2 



20 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION; 



Bishop J. M. 
Thohurn. 

20 Nov. 1893. 



2353. As regards the provinces which you know, is it the 
case that snmkiny; is generally regarded by the natives as 
distinctly objectiouable p— Yes. 

2354. With reference to the poorer classes who eat opium, 
is it a fact that they go on eating for some time without 
increasing the dose P You spoke of poor men spending an 
anna a day, or two pice, do you wish it to be understood 
th;it they go on for a period of yenrs spending money to 
tliat e.xtent, or is there a, tendency to increase the dose 
more and more p— If they can get money enough they 
increase it : the majority cannot get money. 

2355. Is there a h«bit of eating a moderate doae over an 
extended period p — I am told that there is with those wlio 
aie able to get about two pice worth. Those who get one 
pice worth have to do it intermittently. They cannot hulp 
themselves. After they get up to one anna the tendency is 
for all of them to increase the dose. 

2356. Yon do not know that of your own personal ex- 
perience. Has it been your experience tliat this opium-eat- 
ing habit prevails in the rains and in the cold weather (not 
in the hot weather) in districts where there are malarial 
conditions, or that it continues all through the lear P — It 
continues all through the year. 1 have never noticed any 
difference. 

2357. {Sir James Lyall.) You said that the term 
" apliimi" is considered a greater term of abuse, more than 
*' that of drunkard." I should like to know what is the 
native term which people use for the word " drunkard " p — 
It differs — " matwalla " is common. 

2358. Do you deliberately say that the term "matwalla"' 
is a less term of abui-c than the term " aphimi"? — 1 thiuk 
so. I have made inquiries. 

2359. Among respectable people ? — Respectable people 
do not Use abusive language so much as others. I made 
inquiries last week about it among the Hindustani people 
themselves. 

2360. It is quite different from my experience. — U 
is my observation. I inquired last week among the Hin- 
dustani people. 

2361. Does not the term "aphimi " in talking among 
natives practiciilly apply to what you may call an " opium 
sot," like the woid " druukard " P — It corresponds with the 
term " drunkard," but it has a sting in it that the word 
" drunkard " has not. 

2362. Does not that term apply to an opium sot and not 
to a moderate eater, just as the word " drunltafd " dnes not 
apply to a moder.ite drinl;er of wine or spirits in England ? 
— I cannot speak of Enaland, but I am speaking of India, 
where we have them side by side. 

2363. We know that the term " drunkard " in England 
applies, not to the person who drinks wines and spirits 
moderalely, hut to the man who uses them excessively. Is 
it not the case, with your knowledge of India and your 
familiarity with the ocdloqnial use of words in India, that 
the term " aphimi " applies as the term ■' drunkard " does 
in England ? — I used it in that sense, I think, because I 
compared it with the word " drunkard." 

2364. Is it your experience that opinm-consimiers in 
India generally do not use spirits or hemp drugs, that is, 
that themaii who uses opium hs a stimulant usually confines 
himself to it, with the exception of, perhaps, some very 
depraved characters, and does not consume spirits or 
hemp drugs? — He does not consume spirits, but he is very 
likely to consume ganja, and ganja in many cases breaks 
the opium habit, 

2365. If the use of opium as a stimulant were stopped, 
would it not be likely that the poor people, wlio now stint 
their children to buy opium, would spend as much money 
or more in buying spirits or hemp drugs p — I should say that 
the same policy should be applied to ganja and spirits. 

2366. And that you would have a general system of 
prohibition? — I think that all these druija and drinks must 
in the case of these very poor people prove a scourge. 

2367. And the same reason exists for a general system of 
proliibition, except for medical use, of liquor, opium, and 
hemp drujjs P — Among the very poor people, certainly. 

2368. That is practically whfit you have in your own 
church p — Yes, 

2369. You said that in your church if a convert was 
found to take opium you brought him under discipline ? — 
I did. 

2370. I suppose tliat equally applie.5 to hemp drugs or 
snirits ?— It does. 



2371. Did you sign the memorial to the Viceroy by the 
Missionary Conference of the 30th of September : I believe 
you were Secretary to that Conference? — I am not quite 
sure. I was not in Calcutta at that time. I think, perhaps, 
I have not signed it, 

2372. Have you signed it P — If I have signed it at all 
it must have been some months ago. I was not in 
Calcutta for four mouths, and I think I never saw the me- 
morial and did not sign it. 

2373. You cannot give any opinion ; yoii have not ex- 
amined the authorities quoted in it to see if the extracts 
given fairly represent the opinion P — I could not at all. 

2374. I think you know that opium is immensely used in 
India, particularly by the common people in the villages, 
which form the great part of India ; it is greatly used 
among the people themselves for medicine, tor themselves 
and for their cattle too : you propo.se that the use of (rpium 
should be prohibited except for medical purposes : have you 
ever tried to think out how opium could be readily supplied 
for medical wants, aiid yet its use prevented as a stimulant 
or intoxicant P — I have thouj;ht a little on the sul>ject. 
I do not think it would be an insuperable difficulty ; of 
course it would be a diiBoulty. I have seen it ap))lied in 
our own country in Slates where they have prohibition. 
When they have to supply alcoholic driuks, it is always at- 
tended with dithculty, but they succeed in doing it. 

2375. Alcoholic drinks are not used as mediriue in any- 
thing like the extent opium is used in India by the coun- 
try people themselves, by Hakims and Vaids, and that sort 
of people P — 1 do not know that : I should rather thiuk it 
is used quite as much. 

2376. Spirits P — Some forms of alcoholic drinks are in 
constant use for medicinal purposes in the prohibitive 
States, 

2377. The difficulty in administration always is to get 
reliable instruments. If you give an ordinary native of 
India some power or discretion, I am sorry to say he 
generally tries to make money out of it ? — I understand 
that. 

2378. You know our State dispensaries and all that 
sort of thing are mere points scattered about in the 
country ? — I do. 

2379. Even if they were to he relied upon to carry on a 
sort of brisk trade in opium without degenerating into 
opium shops, have you thought how you could possibly 
work a system by which opium "Would be readily available, 
and not too dear for medicine, and yet not available as a 
stimulant ? — I think it would be no worse than it is in 
many parts of the country. I have just been in Garhwal 
where they liave no opium whatever, and they get along 
very well without it. I think it would be no worse in other 
parts. 

2380. Garhwal is a very healthy country p — ^Not very. 

2381. It is a cold climate? — It has been scourged by 
cholera more than any other district in North India dnrinc 
the last few years. " 

2382. Not malaria?— I do not value opium very much as 
a medicine if I may be allowed to say so. Speakino- as a 
laymari, I do not think it is what would be called ii m"edical 
necessity amonu; the common villagers. There must be a 
multitude of villages where they never see it. 

2383. Speaking of how the financial difficulty might he 
met, you sugsested that a tax might be put upon tobacco, 
which would raise as much money as ihe opium does. Are 
you aware that an attempt to put a tax upon tobacco by the 
Shah of Persia, who is a pretty despotic ruler, led to a revolt 
about two years ago ?— I should not think that the Shah 
of Persia could be mentioned in the same couneotiou with 
the Governor General of India. 

2381 Y'ou think we are more despotic P— T think the 
Governor General of India could do a thing without difficul- 
ty that the Shah would not dare to try. 1 should not have 
ventured to make that suggestion if it bad not been that I 
originally read the suggestion in a work by Sir John 
Strachey. I think he estimated that they could o-et a 
revenue of two millions from it. " 

2385. Are you aware, though the thing has often teen 
considered, that it has always been thou<;ht so unpopular 
a suggestion, thet it has been abandoned on that ground r— 
— I remember Sir John said it was unpopular, still he 
said it was practicable, or rather possible. 

2386. Do you think that the English Government in 
India has so much popularity that it could afford to taku 
the risk of adopting such an unpopular measure p— I am 
very glad you have asked me that question. People often 
talk confidentially to me because they know 1 am i;ol an 



MINUTES OP EVIDENCE. 



21 



Englisliniari. _ I believe that with the same people I spoke 
of a little while ago, the average people of India, leaving a 
million at the top and from 30 to 50 millions at tlie bottom 
out of consideration, the English Government is exceed- 
ingly popular. 

23S7. And that popularity would bear the putting on of 
additional taxation ? — On tobacco it would. 

Ji388. {Mr. Wilson.) 1 have not got it quite clear about 
these Rajputs. I understand that liajpnts live in Rajput- 
ana. What I vpant to get, and what 1 did not quite get, 
■was this, what proportion of the population of that part of 
the country are properly called Kajputsp — That I could not 
say ; but 1 should say that a very huge miuority are not 
•properly Rajputs. 

2389. Do 3'ou think that the missionaries in this country 
over whom 30U have superintendence would, speaking gen- 
erally, agree with the opinions you have expressed p — I think 
tio, perhaps without exception : on some details they might 
differ^ 



2390. Have you missions in the Central Provinces P — We Bishop J. M. 
liave. Thoburn. 

2391. In Southern India? — We have. 20 Nov. 189.3, 

2392. I suppose I may take it that during yonr earlier 
years in India you came into personal contact with the 
people P — A great deal. 

2393. Since you have been Bishop you have probably 
had more intercourse with the missionarii<s themselves, and 
not direct intercourse with the people P— That is correct 
from the nature of the case. I am travelling all the time 
and superintending. I cannot often get opportunities ef 
goin^g into the villages. 

2394-. Therefore the opinions you have given ns, especi- 
ally as regards late year^, are \ery muoli those of mission- 
aries from whom you have gathered this information p — I 
think that most of the uiissionaries hav* stronger views oji 
the subject than I have. 



The witness withdrew. 
Mt. Joseph G. Albxandee, LL.B., called in and examined. 



2395. {Chairman.) I believe you are the Secretary of the 
Anti-Opium Association p — Yes. I may remind)the Commis- 
siou that I have alieady given a little formal evidence. I ap- 
peared before the Commission in London, arid put in a few 
documents wWoh I tliought[|might be useful at [that stage, 
reserving further evidence. I need only repeat that I am 
Secretary of the Society for the Suppression of the Opium 
'J'rade, and have been so nearly four and a half years. But 
1 had fur a rauch longer period been a member of the 
Executive Committee of the Society, and taken great in- 
terest iu its work. 

2396. You are a Barrister-at-Lawp— Yes, but I have 
not been in practice since I became Secretary. 

2397. We may take it from you that you have been ac- 
tively concerned in bringing the case which you wish to pre- 
sent to the consideration of the Commission to-day under 
the notice of Members ot Parliament, and also before the 
public in England, at public meetings, by pamphlets, and 
otherwise ? — That is so. 

2398. I think it is your wish that we should regard the 
last memorial presented by your Society to Lord Kiroberley 
as containing in brief jour case for the suppression of the 
opium trade ? — That is so. Not strictly the last memorial, 
but onr last general memorial. We have since had tcca- 
.sion to address His Lordship about Burma. 

2399. Your last general memorial is a general statement 
of your case ? — Yes. 

But before entering upon the consideration of the points 
in that document, I should like to say a few preli- 
minary words as to the tone which the Society desires to 
adopt towards the Indian Government in this matter. I 
wish to take the opportunity of adopting on behalf of the 
Society the very appropriate words with which Your Lord- 
ship closed yo'ur opening address the other day : " To 
" those engaged in the weighty task of governing this 
" country, 1 can give an assurance on the part of 
" the Commission that, in common with our fellow 
"countrymen at home, we admire and recognise to 
" the frill the admirable qualities for which the Civil 
"Service in India is so justly renowned." I wish to say 
in that connection that our Society is composed of gentle- 
men who would be very sorry indeed to take up anything 
like a hostile position towards the Government of India. 
We differ from them on this very important question, but 
we are very anxious not to impute evil motives. Wc know 
that men differ on great questions ot morality and policy 
from variims circumstances. Speaking personally, speak- 
ing on behalf of our Presideirt and on behalf of the Execu- 
tive Committee especially, 1 am sure it is far from our 
desire to take up any position which would assirme that those 
who are responsible for the Government of India are not 
actuated by the highest motives in their desire to fulfil 
their duty towards the people of India. In support of that 
I would mention that we have in connection with our bo- 
eiety a number of gentlemen who have spent a good part 
of their years in the service of the Goverrrment of India. 
The venerable Sir Arthur Cotton, now more than ninety 
years of age, is one of our Vice-Presidents and one of our 
most ardent supporters. I will not say that he is proud 
of what England has done in India, but the way in 
which he has expressed it to myself and others is that he 
feels intensely thankful to God for the wonderful providen- 
tial way in which, as he believes, England has been permit- 
ted to discharge its duty towards India. Then we have 
«u our Executive Committee Lieuteoant-General Iremen- 



heere, who was for some years Administrator of Sindh, 
and who was also at one time tire Chairman of our Executive 
Committee ; and Brigade-Surgeon Priugle, who has spent 
30 years in the .Medical Service of India. We have also two 
other members of the Committee who have sons in the 
Indian Civil Service. It will therefore be seen that we are 
not likely to wisli to take up any attitude of general hosti- 
lity to the Government of India. Our attitude is that, ad- 
miring that Government, and rejoicing in what it has done 
for the people of India, we want to remove from it a 
stigma which we believe rests upon it; at the present timeiu 
connection with its opium traffic. 

2400. Turning to the general memorial, I notice 
that in tlie first paragraph reference is made to the vote 
taken iu the House of Commons on the 10th of April 1891, 
when by a majority of 31 it was resolved : " Tliis House 
" is of opinion that the system by wbicli the Indian opium 
" revenue is raised is morally indefensiblei and would urge 
" upon the Indian Government that they sliould cease to 
" grant licenses for the cultivation of the poppy and sale of 
" opium in British India, except to supply the legitimate 
"demand for medical purposes, and that they should, at the 
" same time, take measrrres to arrest the transit of Malwa 
" opium through British territory." Have you any observa- 
tions to make upon that iiart of the memorial p — I should 
like to point out that we have adopted a somewhat careful 
wording with regard to tlie action of the House of Commons. 
The House adopted the resolution " in principle." A good 
deal has been made of a somewhat technical point, owii^ to 
the way iir which resolutions have to be submitted to the 
House of Commons on Friday evenings. The^motion was not 
an attirinative motion ; it was an amendment to the motion 
to so into Committee. The actual vote was taken on thg 
question whether the words " That Mr. Speaker now leave 
the chair " should stand as iiart of the question. Sir Eobei-t 
Fowler had given notice of an amendment dealing with 
the financial question ; and the result was that, whilst th« 
vote was taken on the main question, it was technically 
only a vote not to go into Committee of Supply. At the 
same time, practically, as the Members of the House of 
Commons will recognise, it ivas an adoption of Sir Joseph 
Pease's words. 

2401. In your second paragraph you allege that the use 
of opium brings misery to countless millions in China, and 
that whereas we in England subject the sale of opium to 
great restrictions, and it is recognised, as you allege, by the 
entire medioal profession as a dangerous poison, on the 
other hand, in our dealings with China we did in past 
years endeavour to force the importation of opium irrto 
China by acts of war ; and you represent the opposition 
which was takeir when we were at war with China in 
relation to opium to be what you call a •' continuing fact.'' 
You point to the repugnance of the English people to the 
whole system as being evidenced by resolutions passed at 
hundreds of public meetings almost always with complete 
unanimity ; and }0u refer to the large number of petitions 
which are constantly being presented to Parliament in 
support of the views of the Anti-Opium .Association. I 
think that that is a fair summary of your second paragraph. 
Have you anythini; that you wish to say to us further 
with reference to.ChinaP — I need scarcely point out that 
those wars are old history, and you will recognise that the 
attitude of the Government is substantially changed, as ia 
clearly proved by the speech of Sir James Kergusson, so 
often referred to, and by the speeches of Mr. Smith, Lord 
Cross, and other representative public menl' — With regard 



Mr. J. a. 

Alexandf r . 

LL.B. 



isd;a.n opium commission : 



Mr. J. Q. t-" ^bat question of the CKina wars, I should liave been 

Alexander, disposed to say exceedingly little, looking upon them aa 

LL.B. past transactions, had it not been for the evidence pro- 

" ducfed before tlie Conimissiou in London. As the luem- 

20 Nov. Ib 'di. ]jg|.g gf ^.jjg Couiinission who were in London will remem- 
ber, we had three gentlemen — Sir Thomas Wade, Mr. 
Lay, and Dr. Lookbiirt— all alleging that England never 
forced the opium trade upon China. It seems to me that 
one can hardly allow such an allegation as that to pass 
unchallenged, because, as we put it here, the fact of 
those wars and the fact that, as we believe, opium wa'* by 
those wars forced upon China, impose upon the liritish 
nation a greater degree of responsibility for this trade 
than it would have had if China had from the bei;iiuiing 
voluntarily accepted the trade. I am afraid, therefore, 
that I shall have to tionble the Commission with some 
attempt to shov that the statements ot Sir Thomas Wade, 
Mr. Lay, and Dr. Lockhart are really not well founded. In 
the first instance I should like to refer to a pamphlet 
published by my predecessor, the first secretary of our 
Society, Mr. Storrs Tuin.'r. As I told the Commission in 
London, he was very ill at that time, and was unable to 
give evidence, as I had hoped he would In one pmtion 
of that pamphlet he has dealt veiy carefully with this 
question of the wars, and I think he has made a very full 
reply. The pam)ihlet was written in connection with the 
debate at the Society of Aits meeting last year, when Sir 
Thomas Wade made a speeeh very much to the same effect 
as the evidence he gave before the Commission. Mr. Lay 
not only made these statements, but he handed in a Note 
on the Opium Question. I think perhaps it would be more 
satisfactory if, instead of attempting to leply to that 
pamphet in detail, I should go through the history hiiefly, 
and put forwaid my own view and the view of the Society 
on the question. 

2102. That would be the more convenient course. — 1 have 
here a book which may bo looked upon as an authoritative 
hiftory of China. I have seen the statement that the book, 
Williams' " The i\liddle Kingdom," is adopted olficially by 
the diplomatic service in China as a text-book of Chinese 
history and Chinese questions generally. It is written by 
Dr. S. Wells ^Villi;lms, who was at one time a mission- 
ary in China, and who is an American, not an English- 
man, so that he may be supposed to look at the question 
from an imp:irtial and outside point of view as between 
England and China. The early history of the opium trade 
is best told in Dr. Edkins' pamphlet which has been already 
put before the Commission and will be piinted as an Appen- 
dix; but Dr. Edkins has omitted one point which Ur. 
Williams here refers to. Dr Williams says: "The use of 
" opium amongst the Chinese two centuries ago must have 
'' been very little, or the writings of Romish missionaries, 
"from 1580 down to the beginning of the nineteenth cen- 
'■ tury, would certainly have conlained some account of 
"it." That point is still better brought out by Dr. Dudgeon, 
of Pekin, another very high authority on Chinese ques- 
tions. In an article which was priuted in the Friend 
of China for 1892, page 195, he says : "The absence of auv 
" reference by the Jesuit missionaries who resided in all 
" parts of the country to either opium-smoking or poppy 
"cultivation is very remarkable. All other sources of in- 
" formation are equally reticent, whether it be travellers, 
"diplomatic agents, or missionaries. Barrow and Staunton, 
" who describe China most minutely and correctly in their 
" visit in 1793, only remark that many of the higher manda- 
" rins smoke tobacco with other odorous substances, and some- 
" times a little opium. " There is also a book containing a 
description of Lord Macartney's mission, which travelled 
through a considerable district of China to Fekin, and had 
a botanical gentleman attached to it. It contains a careful 
and accurate notice of the plants met with, but it has no 
mention whatever of the poppy as having been grown, that 
is at the end of the last century. Dr. Dudgeon has also 
pointed out that Dr. Edkins does not sufhciently and clearly 
bring out the fact that the early use of opium in China 
appears to have been merely medicinal. Some of the earlier 
extracts given by Dr. Edkins refer only to the medicinal 
use, and not to what one may call, by way of distinction, the 
sensual use. Dr. Dudgeon further points out that the 
decree of 1729, which was for the first time brought to 
light by Dr. Edkins, and which was the first Chinese decree 
against opium, was not a geneial decree applying to the 
whole country, but simply to the island of Eormosa, where 
appareutly the opium-smoking habit was first known in 
China. A few years later, as I am informed by Ur. Dudgeon, 
there was a decree generalizing that, because it was found 
that the use of opium-smoking had spread to the 
mainland. 

Then I pass to the position which led up to the China 
war. Dr. Williams states that the first war with EngLind 



arose out of the ceasing of the East India Company s com- 
mercial privileges in 1834 ; and he deals with the mission 
of Lord ^apier which followed that change. He conimenta 
upon Lord Napier's ill-advised proceedings in his attempt 
to set aside the rules of the Chinese Governmeut, 
which ended in a somewhat tragic way by his 
death before the question was settled. I now quote 
a despatch from Sir G. B. Kobinson, who succeeded 
Lord Napier as Superintendent of the British trade : 
"On the question of smuggling opium I will not 
" enter in this place, though, indeed, smugLilmg earned on 
"actively in the Government boats can hardly be termed such. 
" Whenever His Majesty's Government dnects us to prevent 
"British vessels engaging in the traffic, we can enforce any 
" order lo that effect, but a moie certain method would be to 
" prohibit the growth of the poppy and the manufacture of 
"opium in British India ; and if Biitish ships are ia the 
" habit of committing irregularities and crimes, it seems 
" doubly necessary to exercise a salutary control over them 
"by the presence of an authoiity at Lintin." Dr. Williams, 
commenting on that despatch, says: "There is not 
" the least evidence to show that the Court of Pekin 
" was not sincere in its desire to suppress the trade, fiom the 
" first edict of 1800 till the war broke out in 1840. The 
" excuse that the Government smuggled because its revenue 
"cruisers engaged in it and the helpless provincial author- 
'' ities winked at it is no more satisfactory than to make 
" the successful bribery of cu.-tom-house officers in England 
"or elsewhere a proof of the corruption o| the treasury 
" department." I might apply that argument in India. 
When I was passing thiough the Central Provinces, I 
was told some stories about smuggling fioin the iS'ative 
States, said to be carried on with the connivai ce of the 
Government Police. I think it would be just as appropriate to 
say that the Indian Government is not sincere in its 
desire to suppress the smugu ling of opium into its terri- 
tories because some of its pcdice oilicers are, or are said to 
be, bribed, as to say that the Chinese Government were not 
sincere because some of its officers were biibed. I ttiere- 
foie strongly object to that phrase, which I think was 
quoted either by Sir Thomas Wade or Jlr. Lay with ap- 
proval, that it was not properly to be called smuggling 
because there was so much official connivance with it. 
Then Dr. Williams goes on to recount a remarkable 
proposal made to legalise the opium trade by Hu Nai Tsi. 
Some quotations were made from his memoiial in the evi- 
dence which was put forward in London, as if those were 
the views of men who did not recognise the evils 
of the trade. I think to any one who reads through 
those memorials it is clear that these men did recognise 
the great evils of the trade ; only they thougiit it was 
hopeless to attempt to stop it, and it was better to legahse 
it. But those memorials were replied to by statesmen on 
the other side. One of them says : " It has been i epresented 
" that advantage is taken of the laws against opium by 
" extoitionate underlings and worthless vagrants to benefit 
"themselves. Though the law should someiiujes be relaxed 
" and become ineffectual, yet surely it should not on that 
" account be abolished." I venture to think that these 
arguments may have some application in India at the 
present day as they had in Chioa then. The result 
was that the Court of Pekin decided not to legalise. 
Meanuhile Captain Elliott had expiessed himse'f in des. 
patches home as confident that legalisation was about 
to take place. The contrary actually took place. There 
is one point I should like to mention which 1 find in two 
of these memorials. They suggest that the purpose of the 
English in introducing opium into the country has been 
to weaken and enfeeble it. That was in the memorial of 
"ChuTsnn. A Sub-Censor sujiported him, and in the 
" abstract of that memorial Ur. Williams says: "The Sub- 
" Censor agrees with Chu Tsun regarding the designs of 
" foreigners in doing so, that they wished first to "debili- 
" ' tate and impoverish the land as a preparatory measure, 
" ' for they never smoked the drug in their own country, but 
" 'brought it all to China.' " Itis interesting to compare 
those views, expressed more than half a century a^o, 
with the evidence given by three or four missionanes 
before this Commission in London, that a precisely 
similar impression is at present largely prevailing in China, 
and that among some of the best classes in China it ia 
said that England had the purpose of introducing opium 
into China in order to weaken and debilitate the "chinese 
nation, so that we may ultimately conquer the coun- 
try. Of course we know that it is not so, but we can 
understand how such a view has arisen. Then Dr. Williams 
again refers to the questi(m of sincerity. He says : " It is 
" unjust to the Chinese to say, as was argued by those who 
" had never felt these sufferings, that all parties ^-ere insin- 
" cere in their efforts to put down tliis trade, that it was a 
"mere affectation of morality, and that no one would be more 



MINUTES OF EVIDrCNCE. 



28 



'•' ohagvined to see it stop thfin those apparently so strenuous- 
" ly against it. This assertion was made by Lord Palmerston 
" in Pai linment, and re-echoed by the Indian officials ; but 
"those who liave candidly examined the proceedings of 
" the Chinese, or have lived among the people in a way 
" to learn their real feelings, need not he tuld how inoor- 
'■ rect is the remark. The highest statesman and the 
"debilitated, victimised smoker alike agreed in their opi- 
" nion of its bad effects, and both were pretty ninoh in 
" the position of a miserable lamb in the coil of a hungry 
" anaconda." (That is a very favourite metaphor with 
the Chinese on the subject of opium. A friend showed mo 
not long ago a little model which he had received from 
some missionary friends in China representing the opium 
vice in thnt way. It was not an anaconda, but it was a 
cuttle-fish or octopus destroying the man.) As is well 
known, the result was that the Emperor sent down to 
Canton Commissioner Lin in order to put a stop to the 
trade. Before Commissioner Lin arrived some measures 
had been taken. Dr. Williams says : " There can 
"■ be no reasonable doubt that the best part of his 
" people and the moral power of the nation were with 
" their soverei>;n in this attempt. Hu Nai Tsi was 
" dismissed for proposing legalisation, and three princes of 
" the blood degraded for smoking opium ; arrests, fines, 
"tortures, imprisonments, and executions were frequent in 
" the provinces on the same grounds, all showing the deter- 
" minatiim to eradicate it. The Governor of Hukwang, Lin 
" Tseh-su, was ordered to proceed to Canton, with unlimited 
" powers to stop the traflSc, The trade there was at this 
" time almost suspended, the deliveries being small and at 
" losing prices. Many underlings were convicted and 
"summarily punished, and on February 26th Fung A-ngau 
" was strangled in front of the factories for his connection 
" with opium and participation in the affray at Whampoa. 
" The foreign flags, English, American, Dutch, and French, 
■■' were all hauled down in consequence. The entire stoppage 
" o£ all trade was threatened, and the Governor urged for- 
" eigaers»to send alio pium ships from Chinese waters. Cora- 
" missioner Lin arrived in Canton, March 10th. The Emperor 
" sent him to inquire and act so as thoroughly to remove the 
" source of the evil, for, says he, ' if the source of the evil be 
" ' not clearly ascertained, how can we hope that the stream of 
"' pernicious consequences shall be stayed P It is our full 
" ' hope that the long indulged habit will be for ever laid 
" ' aside, and every root and germ of it entirely eradicated ; we 
" ' would fain think that our ministers will be able to sub- 
" ' stantiate our wishes, and so remove from China the dire 
"'calamity.' It was reported in Canton that the monarch, 
" when recounting the evils which had long afSicted his 
" people by means of opium, paused and wept, and turning 
" to Lin said, ' How, alas ! can I die and go to the shades of 
" ' my imperial fathers and ancestors until these direful evils 
" 'are removed ? ' Such was the chief purpose of this move- 
" ment on tbepart of the Chinese Government, and Lin was 
"invested with the fullest powers ever conferred on a subject. 
" Although long experience of the ineffectiveness of Chinese 
" edicts generally lead those residing in the country to regard 
"them as mere verbiage, still to say _ that they are all in- 
" sincere and formal because they are ineffectual is to _mis- 
" judge and pervert the emotions of common humanity." 
It fs well known that the Chinese Government 
obtained possession of the opium by imprisoning the British 
merchants in their bouses (you had before you in London 
Mr. Donald Mathieson, one of the merchants imprisoned), 
and the opium was all destroyed. Dr. Williams states that 
the market value of 20,283 chests of opium at the time was 
not far from 9 million dollars, and the cost price nearly 11 
millions. War ensued ; and here Dr. Williams quotes the 
language used by Lord John Russell, that the war_ " was set 
" afoot to obtain reparation for insults and injuries offered 
"Her Majesty's Superintendent and subjects; to obtain 
" indemnification for the losses the merchants had sustained 
" under threats of violence ; and lastly, to get security that 
"persons and property trading with China should in future 
" he protected from insult and injury, and trade maintained 
" upon a proper footing. " Undoubtedly, there were other 
causes leading to the war in addition to the seizure of 
opium ; audit seems to me that Mr. Lay and Sir Thomas 
Wade have simply set aside this one cause and have taken 
fhese other subsidiary and collateral causes and said that 
they were the only reasons of the war. It does not seem 
to me that you can logically adopt that course. 

2403. T think Sir Thomas Wade urged that the exclusjve- 
ness of the Chinese, their unwillingness to enter into 
relations with other powers, treating us as barbarians only 
to be approached through the Hongkong merchaiits, were 
a natural and inevitable cause of misunderstanding. He 
urged that if the Chinese authorities had been willing to enter 



into direct communication with us, explanations would have M.i'. J. (?. 
been exchanged which would probably have averted the Alexander, 
ultimate warlike proceedings which we all regret P — No LL.B. 

doubt that was • the substance of his argument. Dr. 

Williams combats that by pointing out that on previous 20 Nov. 1893. 

occasions concessions had been obtained from China '~~^~' 

without force ; and if China had been treated in a proper 

way, these concessions might have been obtained. But 

at all events, the war did, as a matter of fact, grow out 

of the opium trade ; and Sir 'I'homas Wade himself 

admits that it may properly be called the Opium War. 

Dr. Williams says : "The war was looked upon in this 

" light by the Chinese, and it will also he so looked upon 

" by the candid historian, and known as the Opium War." 

Dr. Williams also refers to the debate which took place in 

Parliament. Of course it was not admitted in that debate 

by Lord Macaulay, who was the Government spokesman, 

that opium was the object of the war ; nor was it by Sir 

George Staunton, who took an independent position in the 

debate, and whose authority, from his great knowledge of 

China, was very great. He defended the wai', but spoke 

in the strongest terms against the opium-smuggling trade. 

But I venture to think that the speech made by Mr. 
Gladstone, already quoted by Mr. Arthur Pease, truly states 
the case, that while there had been no doubt many things 
on the part of the Chinese which were objectionable, yet in 
the main the Chinese were right and we were wrong. Lord 
Melbourne in the course of the debate said : "We possess 
" immense territories peculiarly fitted for raising opium, and 
" though I would wish that the Government were not so direct- 
" ly concerned in the traffic, I am not prepared to pledge my- 
" self to relinquish it." Dr. Williams remarks : " this debate 
"was in fact a remarkable instance of the way in which a 
•■ moral question is blinked even by conscientious persons 
" whenever politics or interest come athwart its course." He 
also refers to two letters written by Commissioner Lin 
to Queen Victoria desiring her assistance in putting down 
the opium trade. One of those letters has been recently 
published. I should like to hand in to the Commission a 
publication of ours, "Chinese Statesmen on the Opium 
Traffic." It begins with one of these letters, and the 
other letter will he found in Mr. Storrs Turner's 
book which has been distributed. On two or three 
occasions Dr. Williams points out that negotiations 
which were begun with the object of _ stopping the war 
failed mainly because of the determination of the Chinese 
to resist rather than to grant full indemnity for the 
opium. Finally,' Captain Elliott concluded a preliminary 
arrangement on four points, mainly the cession of theislimd 
and harbour of Hongkong to the British Crown, an indem- 
nity of six million dollars in annual instalments, direct 
official intercourse upon an equal footing, and the imme- 
diate resumption of the English trade at Cauton. As we 
all know, the Chinese were defeated and ultimately had to 
yield. One of the conditions of the treaty was that six 
million dollars was to be paid by'China as compensation for 
the opium that was destroyed, that opium having been 
contraband. Then, after the treaty, at the final inter- 
view between Sir Henry Pottinger and the Chinese 
Commissioners, there was a remarkable conversation of 
which Dr. Williams gives an account taken from Captain 
Loch's "Events in China" : "When matters connected 
" with the treaty had been arranged. Sir Henry proposed 
" to say a few words upon the great cause that produced the 
" disturbances which led to the war, viz., the trade in 
" opium. But upon hearing this (Captain Loch says) they 
" unanimously declined entering upon the subject until they 
" were assured that he had introduced it merely as a topic 
" for private conversation. They then evinced much in- 
" terest, and eagerly requested to know why we would not 
" act fairly towards them by prohibiting the growth 
" of the poppy in our dominions, and thus effectual- 
" ly stop a traflSc so pernicious to the human race. 
«• this, he said, in consistency with our constitution 
" and laws, could not be done; and he added that, even if 
" England chose to exercise so arbitrary a power over her 
" tillers of the soil, it would not check the evil, so far as 
" the Chinese were concerned, while the cancer remained 
" uneradioated among themselves, but that it would merely 
"throw the market into other hands. It, in fact, he said, 
" rests entirely with yourselves. If your people are virkious 
" they will desist from the evil practice ; and if your officers 
" are incorruptible and obey your orders, no opium can enter 
" your country. The discouragement of the growth of the 
"poppy in your territories rests principally with you, for 
" neaidy the entire produce cultivated in India travels east 
" to China ; it, however, the habit has become a confirmed 
"vice, and you feel that your power is at pre--ent inadequate 
"to stay its indulgence, you may rest assured your people 
« will procure the drug in spite of every enactment. Would 



H 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



Mr. J;, a,. 

Alexander 

LL.B. 

20 Nov. 1893, 



" H not, therefore, be letter at once to lea;alisfi its importa- 
" tion, and by thus seouiin^f the co-operatiun of the rich and 
" of jour authoiities, from whom it would thus be no 
" longer debarred, thereby greatly limit the facilities which 
"now exist for smuggling p They owned the plausi- 
"bility of the argument, but expressed themselves per- 
" suaded that their imperial master would never listen to 
"a word upon the subject." Dr. Williams comments 
severely, as well he may, upon the tono adopted by Sir 
Henry Pottinger and his really untruthful statement that 
there was anything unconstitutional in prohibiting the 
growth of the poppy that had already been prohibited in a 
large area of Jlritish India, and upon the melancholy 
picture of a British statesman saying- to Chinese states- 
men, "Your people must become virtuous and your officers 
" incorruptible, and then you can stop opium coming into 
"your borders." England herself might so easily have 
stopped the trade. I think it must have been about that 
time, though I have never been able exactly to ascertain 
the date, that the Emperor of China used some very 
memorable words which are reported by Mr. Mont- 
gomery Martin. When approached with a view of legal- 
ising the trade, the Emperor replied . " It is true 
" that I cannot prevent the introduction of the flowing 
'' poison ; gain-seeking and corrupt men will, lor profit and 
'' sensuality, defeat my wislies ; but nothing will induce me 
" to derive a revenue from the vice and misery of ray people." 
Sir Edward Fry has pointed out that whilst nothing was 
said about this opium trade in the treaty, we almost imme- 
diately afterwards concluded w treaty with China in which 
we agreed to put down smuggling. That was really never 
carried out. A proclamation was issued bv Sir Henry 
Pottinger, which was entirely futile, telling the traders in 
opium that they carried on the trade at their own cost. Dr. 
Williams says : " All this was done chiefly to throw dust in 
" their eyes and put the onus of the contraband trattic on the 
" Chinese Government, and the violati(m of law on those 
" who came off to the smuggling vessels, and these proclama- 
" tions and orders, like their edicts, were to be put ' on re- 
"'cord.'" This was shown when Captain Hope of H. M.S. 
Thalia, for stopping two or three of the opium vessels pro- 
ceeding above Shanghai, was recalled from his station and 
ordered to India, where he could not 'interfere in such a 
manner with the undertakings of British subjects ' — to 
quote Lord Palmerston's Despatch to Captain Elliot : ' This 
" effectually deterred other British officers from meddling 
" with it." 

Once more T)r. Williams gives this final summary 
ef the war " Public opinion will ever characterise the 
" contest thus brought to an end as an opium war, entered 
" into and carried on to obtain indemnity for opium 
"seized, and setting aside the niceties of Western intur- 
" national law, which the Chinese Government knew no- 
" thing of, most justly seized. The British and American 
" merchants, who voluntarily subscribed one thousand 
"and thirty-seven chests to Commissioner Lin, aoknow- 
"ledged themselves to be transgressors by this very art." 
As Mr. Pease stated in London, neither iMr. Turner, 
my predecessor, nor I, have used the expression the Second 
" Opium War." It did not directly arise out of the opium 
traffic ; although it was indirectly connected with it. 

Here I turn to another authority, " The Letters 
" and Journals of Lord Elgin," the Ambassador employed 
to negotiate peace and to settle the ditficulties with 
China" His letters are full of allusions to the strong 
feeling he has that that war was an altogether unjustifiable 
and unjust war, and brought about by the misconduct 
of the English subjects in the East. Here is one of them : 
" I have hardly alluded in my ultimatum to that wretched 
•' question of the ' Arroio,' which is a scandal to us, and is so 
" considered, I have reason to know, by all except the few 
" who are personally compromised." In another place he 
says : " I thought bitterly of those who for the most .selfish 
"objects are trampling under foot this ancient civilisation." 
Again he says: "Two months I have been there engaged 
" in this painful service, checking as I have been best able 
" to do the dispoaition to maltreat this unfortunate people." 
Then Lord Elgin sums up : " No doubt, as yon say, one cnu- 
" not help sometimes regretting that one is mixed up with 
" so bad a business as this in China, but then in some re- 
"speots it is a great opportunity for doing good, or at least 
" for mitigating evil." May I be permitted, though it is 
perhaps irrelevaut, to say that those extracts and others 
which. I could have read, show how great and noble 
was the character of Lord Elgin, how supremely he desired 
that justice should be done to races whicii had been proved 
to be weaker in war than the English race, and how one 
cannot help rejoicing in the hope that his son who is so 
shortly to arrive in India will be imbued with similar senti- 
jnents. Lord Elgin went from China to Japan, There he 



signed the treaty which first opened Japan to our commere*, 
a treaty which had not been forced by war, a treaty which 
absolutely prohibited the opium trade, and which has been 
strictly enforced by the Japanese ever since. The .Japanese 
are well aware of the vice which is bringing such terrible 
evils upon their neighbours in China ; therefore they have- 
always shown themselves on the alert to prevent its intro- 
duction into their own country. I once beard a missionary 
who had resided some years in Japan, tell how Very severely 
some men were treated who were once caught attempting 
to smuggle opium into, Japan. 

Lord Klgin did not deem it consistent with his duty 
to make the legalisation of the opium traffic one of the 
terms of the treaty of peace with China. But I have dealt 
with that subject in a letter to the Times a few years ago. 

I said in that letter which was a reply to Mr, Law: — 
" It may be well in the first place to observe that our 
"present agitation is merely based, not on the assumption 
" that China is being still forced to admit Indian opium, but 
''on what appears to us to he the immorality of the Indian 
" Government in producing, for the purpose of sale to China, 
" a drug which causes such widespread demoralisation in the 
"latter country. The question raised by Mr. Lay is, there- 
'' fore, more a historical ihan a practical one. At the same 
" time it undoubtedly adds immensely to the responsibility 
"of Great Biitain if, as we are convinced, the action of 
"our Government in the past has been, such as to over- 
" bear the genuine objection formerly entertained by the 
"Chinese Government to the admission ot: opium, and has 
" brought about her present apparent acquiescence in its 
"import. If Mr. Lay simplj' means that China has never 
" been compelled, as the condition sine qua non of a cessa- 
" tion from armed force, to place opium in the category 
"of imports permitted to be brought into the treaty ports, 
" we must admit bis coTectness. But we maintain that the 
" legalisation of the opium trade was really and truly the 
"result of the cruel and unjust wars of 1840 and 18.56, and 
"of the powerful moral' support continuously given to 
" opium-smugglers by the British Government before the 
" first war and in the interval between it and the second. 
"As to the Opium War of 1840, it is needless to defend, even 
"against ilr. Lay, the general verdict of history. Securus 
''■judicat nrhis terrarum. It was unquestionably one of 
"the conditions of the treaty of Nanking, which brought the 
"war to a close, that compensation should be made by China 
" for the value of the opium destroyed by Commissioner Lin ; 
" and this fact speaks for itself. As regards the tariff sup- 
" plemeut to the treaty of Tientsin, with which Mr. Lay was 
"personally connected, and by which opium was first recog- 
" nised as a lawful article ot commerce, it is to he remem- 
" bered that the treaty itself was the result of violent coer- 
" cion. Lord Elgin says of the negotiations (' Letters and 
" 'Journals.' page 253): ' We went on fighting and bullying 
'"and getting the poor Commissioners to concede one point 
" 'after another.' One of the ' chiel articles' of the treaty thus 
" concluded was, as stated by his biographer, ' the tariff fixed 
'" by the Treaty of Nanking to be revised.' If the treaty 
" itself was obtained by force, how can it be said that the 
" insertion of a fresh item in the revised tariff for which 
"that treaty provided was imrely voluntary? With regard 
"to the circumstances under which opium was inserred in the 
" tariff supplement, they are fully stated in the ' Beport on 
" ' the Revision of Tarifi',' etc., furnished by Messrs. Oliphant 
"and Wade, the deputies appointed by Lord Elgin to act on 
"his behalf, which is annexed to Lord Elgin's despatch to 
"the Earl of Malmesbury, dated Shanghai, October 22, 1858. 
" They show that on October ]2th the deputies (with whom 
=' Mr. Lay was associated by Lord Elgin's request) had a 
"preliminary conference with the Chinese Commissioners, at 
" which, by request of the latter, they furnished the Chinese 
" with a list oi subjects for discussion. No. 7 being ' legalisa- 
'' ' tion of opium under duties.' It appears further that on 
" this occasion it was urged by the British deputies that 
" opium was an article which ' no laws were found to exclude, 
"'and the irreyularity of the present trade in which was 
" 'highly objectionable.' The following day another conter- 
"ence was held, when, for reasons not necessary to be here 
•' stated, the British deputies desired, and the Chinese Com- 
" missioners consented, to proceed with opium as the very 
" first sirhject of discussion. One of the Chinese Commis- 
" sioners, ' whose position as Supeiintendent of Customs at 
" ' Shanghai, says the report, ' naturally gives him a chief 
" ' voice in such matters, admitted the necessity of a change. 
" ' China still retains her objection to the use of a drug on 
" 'moral grounds; but the present generation of smokers, at 
"'all events, must and will have opium. China would 
" ' propose a very high duty, but, as opposition was 
" ' naturally to be expected from us in that case, it should 
" 'be as moderate as possible.' He proceeded to urge that 
" opium should be treated quite dill'erently I'rom other article,s 



■M]Nl!TKS OV EVIDKKCB. 



25 



"of import, and, ' after much dispngsimi ' fis to the rate of 
" duty, flie Mritish lirsi. nainin.i; 15 to 20 laels and tho 
" Cliinese 60 taels per eliest, it whs finally fixed at 30 taels. 
'' Reviewing the whole tranpaction, it appears clear that Sir 
'' Rutherford Alcock was substantiHlly justified in tellinsrtho 
"East India Finance Committee of 1871, ' We have forced 
''the Chinese Government to enter into a treaty to allow 
■' their subjects to take opium. ' " 

I should like also to refer to a letter by my friend 
Dr. Legge, who gave evidence before the Commission in Lon- 
don on this question, and who is one ol'tlie greatest autliori- 
ties in England or Europe on Chinese questions. In a letter 
addressed to the Times, but which that joi.rual did not pub- 
lish, 'and which I quote from the Friend of China, he says : 
" The instructions issued to Lord Elgin from the KoreijfU 
" Office (April 5!0t!i, 1857) directed him when discussing oom- 
'■ mercial arrangements with any Chinese plenipotentiaries to 
" ascertain whether the Government of China v.mld revoke 
" its prohibition of tlie opium trade, for tliere wouhi be 
" obvious advantages in placing the trade on a leiral footing 
" by the imposition of a duty instead of its being carried on in 
" the present irregular manner. Various expressions in Lord 
" Elgin's diary siiow that, as a whole, his mission was not 
" very agreeable to him ; to procure the legalisation of the 
"opium trade was especially disagreeable. How he got over 
" the feeling, and yet we find no reference to opium in the 
" articles of the Treaty, appears in a letter of the 19th Ooto- 
"ber, written to Mr. Reed, the American plenipotentiary : 
'" 'When I resolved,' he says, ' not to press the matter on 
' 'the Chinese Commissioner's at Tientsi;i, I did so, not he- 
" ' cause 1 q\iestioned the advantages that 'woald aris" from 
"' the legalisation nf the traffic, but because I could not 
" ' reconcile it to my sense of ri;;ht to ursre the Imperial Gov 
" ' ernment to abandon its traditional policy in this respect 
" ' under the kind of pressure which we were bringing to bear 
" ' upon it at Tientsin.' He then speaks of the circumstances 
" under which the question was to come np for discussion in 
" the approaching Conference on the subject of the tariff 
" being 'happily dilf'erent.' So he was able to satisfy his 
" ' sense of right ' in fulfilling his mission by a delusion of 
" the mind. 'J'he Conference on the tariff was a natural 
" sequence to the discnssions witli the Commissioners at 
"Tientsin. And the officers appoinfei by them to conclude 
" the arrangements must have well known that they dared 
" only to discuss andact^ede to the wislies of his officers, with 
"any slight modification favonrable to themselves which they 
" might well be able to secure." 

I do not think it material to refer to the subsequent war 
of 1860. Lord Klgin was sent to China a second time. It 
was after the burning of the Summer Palace that the 
Chinese finally gave way, and the treaty was ultimately 
ratified. 

2404. Ooes that conclude what you have to say with 
reference to the war ? — I will quote three opinions on th.e 
matter from ver3' high auth<irities, and that will con- 
clude what I have to say on that point. The first is the 
evidence of Sir Rutherford Alcoek (Sir Thomas Wade's 
predecessor as Hritish Ambassador in China) before the 
Indian Finance Committee in 1871. 

" Now, is there anything in our treaties to force them to 
take our opium r' — Yes, it is put in the tariff of articles of 
import. 

'"J hen they are bound to allow the free import of 
opium ? — That was the condition introduced into the treaty 
which lord Elgin made. 

" But we do not enforce the purchase ? — Not the purchase ; 
but they cannot prohibit the import of opium ; it is 
amongst the admitted articles on the tariff. 

" Then, notwithstanding the Chinese Government are so 
sensible of the demoralization of their people caused by the 
import of opium, they cannot prevent our sending it there ; 
we force them by treaty to take it from us ?— That is so 
in effect. 

" We have forcel the Government to enter into a treaty 
to allow their subjects to take it ?— Yes, precisely. 

" Is it any wonder that the Chinese Government cotiiplain 
of our conduct in that respect ?— No, I do not think it 
is any wonder. 

" What should we say if these Chinese imposed the like 
restrictions upon us p — I think that onr answer to thern 
for putting it into the treaty is : ' Yon cannot prevent it 
being -smuggled, and the lesser evil is to admit it as a 
legitimate article of trade.' 

" But is it not for them to judge of that, and not 
for us ? — No doubt, if two nations are negotiating together 
on equal terms, each should have a voice. 



"But snppose the Chinese Government were to say, Mr- J- ". 

' We decline to admit opium ; we will not renew the treaty Alexander, 

'except on the condition of excluding opium altoirether p' — LL.li. 

I think they could only do that on the same principle as • 

that on which Prince Gortuhakoff declared that Russia ^0 Novl893. 
would not submit to the continued utilisation of the Black 
Sea, — they must be prepared to fight for it. 

"As I understand yon, you say that the Chinese have 
made a treaty from which it is not possible for them to 
escape ? — It is imt possible for them to escape from it, 
except by a declaration that they will not submit to what 
they conceive to be injurious terms. 

" The only way that they can escape from it is by a 
war ? — A war or a declaration that they are ready to go 
to war rather than submit any longer." 

Then Sir Thomas Wade, said: " Nothing that has been 
■'gained, it most be remembered, was received from the free 
" will of the Chinese; more, the concessions made to us have 
"been, from first to last, extorted against the conscience of 
"the nation — in defiance, that is to say, of the moral convic- 
"tions of its educated men, not merely of the ofiice-holders, 
" whom we call mandarins, and who are numerically but a 
"small proportion of the educated class, but of the millions 
"who are Saturated with a knowledj^e ol the historv and phi- 
" losophy oftheir country." That was written by Sir Thomas 
Wade in a memorandum by him dated 1868 and contained 
in a Blue Book presented to Parliament in 1871. Once more, 
here are the words of Lord lilgin himself in a despatch. 

2405. What is the date ?— I have not the date, but it is 
in a Blue Book of 1871: " The concessions obtained in the 
" treaty from the Chinose Government are not in themselves 
" extravagant, but in the eyes of the Chinese Government 
"they amount to a revolution. They have been extorted, 
" therefore, fi'om its fears." 

2406. That concludes the statement you wish to make 
with referenca to the wars in Cliina p — Yes. 

2i07. Turning to the paragraph in your memo''ial in which 
you urge that the opium tratiic brings misery to countless 
myriads in China. Have you anything to say ii support of 
that view ? — ^First we have the evidence of Protestant mis- 
sionaries, of whom seventeen appeared befora the Com- 
mission in London. I inclnde Dr. Lockhart, who in that 
respect mainly concurred with our witnesses as to the evil 
efi'ects on China. You had also the Secietaries of two im- 
portant Missionary Societies, who personally had no experi- 
ence in China, but who represented two large bodies of 
i\lissi{inaries, those of the Church Missionary Society and 
the China Inland Mission. To which I may add that all 
the English missionary societies labouring in China and 
one or two Scotch societies joined in our deputation to Lord 
Kimberley a year ago in support of our views. There was 
also a practically unanimous missionary petition presented 
to the House of Commons in 1 883, and there have been on 
two or three occasions unanimous resolutions by -Missionary 
Conferences in China representing the whole Protestant 
Missionary body. So that you have before the Commission 
the unanimous testimony of the whole Protestant Mis- 
sionary body, iuolnding the medical missionaries labouring 
in China. Something was said about Roman Catholic mis- 
sionaries. The Bishop ai\d Vicars-Apostolic of Western 
China met in 1880, and there was some diiference anmni; 
them as to whether the use of opium in any f.rm was 
to be ahsolulely prohibitory to reception into the Roman 
Catholic Church by baptism. The answer with which 
I have been favoured by Cardinal Vauj^han of the Sacred 
Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith bears date 
last year. Referring to previous papal decrees on the 
subject it lays down the absolute rule that, with the excep- 
tion of such indulgence as may be necessary for those who 
need medical treatment, the use of opium in any form 
is to be considered absolutely prohibited to Roman Catholics 
in China, its growth, and any share whatever in the traffic. 
So that the Roman Catholic Church, owing to the re- 
presentations of its mis.sijnaries in China, is just as clear 
on the subject as the Protestant missionaries are. Then 
we have some British merchants in China, Mr. Donald 
Mathieson, who appeared before the Commission in London, 
and Mr. Hanbury, who was with us at the deputation to 
Lord Kimberley, and who has traded many years in China. 
He has always refused to have anything to do with the 
opium trade. In his business at 81ianghai he has gone 
so far as to give strict orders that no portion of his large 
property i-' to be let to opium merchants. Then we 
have a considerable number of British officials con- 
nected with China. I have already referred to Sir 
George Staunton ; I have also quotations from Mr. Mont- 
gomery Martin; Mr. Lay (who used a very strong ex- 
pression, speaking of it as" ham-stringing the nation"), Mr. 
Majoribanks, Sir'johnPopeHenoesey, Governor of Hong- 

D 



26 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION ; 



Mr. J. G. tong (wlio spoke in the strongest words of the way in 

Alexander, which the Chinese anthorities had covistantly remonstrated 

LL.B. \rith him against the trade, not so ranch on physical grounds 

as on account of the moral effects of opium-talnng), Sir 

20 Nov. 18 93. Rutherford AlcocU, and Sir Thomas Wade hiinselt. As to 
the Chinese, Mr. Hanbury, at tlie deputation to Lord Kim- 
berley, said : " Produce to me ten or even five Chinamen 
" who will siy that opium-smoking is innocuons.'' So far as 
I know, no Chinaman has ever come forward publicly to 
declare that he defends the trade. "We have sepn that some 
of them were in favour of legalisation as being a better 
thing than smuggling ; but so far as I know, no Chinaman 
has ever said that the trade did not do a great evil in this 
country. There are a great many statements of Chinese 
statesmen and others to be referred to on that head. The 
covmter-evidenoe is only that of some merchants, some tra- 
vellers, and some officials. With regard to ofiBcials, I will 
ask the Commission to allow me to quote some important 
words pronounced by Mr. (iladstone in his speecli in the 
recent debate : " I do not think that in this matter we ought 
" to be guided exclusively, perhaps even principally, by those 
" who may consider themselves experts. It is a very sad 
" thing to say, but unquestionably it happens not infrequent- 
"ly in human affairs, that those who ought, from their situ- 
" ation, to know the most and best, yet from prejudiOB and 
" pnpossessions know the least and the worst. Eminently it 
" was the case in the gieat question of the West Indian 
" slavery, when this House and the country for a long time 
" were discouraged and abashed by the assurance that 
" those who were in favour of that great and radical change 
" were in favour of it, only because they did not under- 
" stand the Negro character. There may be something 
" of that element in thia case. I certainly, for my part, 
" do not propose to abide finally and decisively by official,' 
"opinion. Independent opinion — independent, but respou- 
" sible, is what the House wants, in my opinion, in order 
" to enable it to proceed safely in the career upon which I 
" admit, that it has definitively entered." May 1 add that 
that seems to me to be a very strong case, hnd bearing a 
remarkable analogy to the present case. I believe that 
the West Indian olticials were unanimous in the view that 
the institution of slavery was desirable. I, therefore, think 
thut we ought not to be too much discouraged by finding 
that there is a general widespread view among Indian 
officials at the present time that the system of opium traffic 

Adjourned till to-mor 



to which they have been accustomed is not "'morally in- 
defensible." 

2408. Referring to the evidence that you have with 
regard to public opinion at home, is there anything you 
wish to bring before us in support of your statement that 
the resolutions you propose are received with ahnost abso- 
lute unanimity at hundreds of meetings; and have you 
anything to say with reference to the number and influential 
position of those who sign the numerous petitions that are 
presented to Parliament P- 1 have taken a considerable 
share in the public meetings that have been held on this 
question since I became Secretary, rather more than four 
yeais ao-o,— latterly not so much as during the first year 
or two. " One thing that has struck me very much is the 
way in which at these meetings different classes of opinmn 
have been represented. One of the most important meetings 
that I attended after becoming Secretary was a breakfast 
meeting held at Leeds. The remark was made to me after- 
wards by a gentleman long acquainted with Leeds that he 
did not believe that on any other subject such a meeting 
could have been gathered. We had present representatives 
of all the diff'erent classes of thought into which English 
opinion is divided. Religiously, we had Church of England 
people and Noncomformists, High Church and Low Church ; 
politically we had Tories and Radicals ; and altogether it 
was a meeting that I was told was probably in Leeds un- 
precedented. What I have said of that meeting applies 
generally and to a very large degree to a great many other 
meetings that we have held throughout the country. With 
regard to the question of unanimity, where that unanimity 
bas been broken, it has, I think, always been only by those 
directly connected with India and with the services in 
India. We have always been accustomed to give the ful- 
lest opportunity to gentlemen who wished to oppose the 
views we put forward. They have, no doubt, sometimes 
been listened to with impatience by the audience opposed to 
them. But at all events they have been fully and fairly 
heard on many occasions, and they never succeeded in 
turning any votes. The largest minority that I am aware 
of anywhere was it minority of 3, all directly connected 
with Indian official lil'e. Petitions to Parliament have been 
very much to the same efEect. According to the latest 
return I have, up to the 10th July la-st, 2,470 petitions were 
presented duiing the session, including 329 officially signed ; 
the total signatures being 205,563. 
row, Tuesday, at 10-30. 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Buildings, Calcutta- 



NINTH DAY. 

Tuesday, 21st November 1893. 



The Eight Honoubiblb LORD BRASSEY, K.C.B. (Chaibman, PBESiwKe). 



Sib James B. Ltall, G.C.I.E., K.C.S.I. 

The Hon'ble Sib L*chhmeswab Sinoh Bahaditb, 

Mahaeaja of Dakbhanoa, K.C.I.E. 
Sib William Robebts, M.D. 
Mb. R. G. 0. MowBEAT, M.P. 



Mb. A. U. Fanshawe. 
„ Abthce Pease. 
„ Haeidas Vehabidas Desai. 
„ H. J. Wilson, M.P. 

Me. J. Peescott Hbwbtt, CLE., Secretary, 



Mr. J. &■ 

Alexander, 

LL.S. 



Me. Joseph G. Alexandeb, LL.B., recalled and further examined. 



2409. {Chairman.) Wehadanivedyesterday at the close 
of your examination-in-chief on the second paragraph of your 
21 Nov. 1893. last general memorial to Lord Kimherley. After your 

examination the subject was discussed by the members of 

the Commission, and it was decided that it was not necessary 
to take any detailed evidence with reference to matters so 
long since passed as those to which your statements chiefly 
referred. We therefore do not propose to cross-examine 
you upon the history of our wars and conflicts with China. 
In the third paragraph of your memorial presented to Lord 
Kimherley you express the desire that the area under 
poppy cultivation in the Behar and Beuarts Agency should 



at once be restricted, and you urge in support of that prayer 
that declarations in that sense had been made in Parlia- 
ment by Sir James Fergusson and the late Right Hon'ble 
W. H. Smith ? — I think it is hardly correct to say that it 
is our prayer that they should be restricted. This para- 
graph refers to the measures that were actually taken or 
that we understood to have been taken by the late Govern- 
ment. The credit given in this paragiaph to the late 
Government for what it had been done must be modified 
in view of Sir David Barbour's statement the other day 
that the Indian Government bas not yet adopted any new 
policy in the sense we had understood. But with regard '» 



MINUTES OP BVIDENCR. 



27 



tliat I have further to call attention to an express statement 
by Mr. George Curzon wliich we thought justified us in 
making that statement. It was on the 85th Febrnaiy 
1892, in reply to a question fri-m Sir Joseph Pease which 
was founded upon tliose statements of Sir James Fergusson 
and Mr. Smith a year before, and which was, in fact, an en- 
quiry as to how far the policy then stated had been carried 
Out. Mr. Ourzon made this reply: — "In reply to the 
" Honourable Baronet I have to state that 
"the figures for 1891-92 have not yet been received, but 
" in order to restiict the area of cultivation the Government 
" of India reduced the number of chests for sale in the year 
from 57,000 to 54,000." 

2410. When did Mr. Curzon make that statement P — On 
the 25th February 1892. We took that as an express decla- 
ration that the Government of India were acting upon tlje 
policy that had been announced in the House of Commons 
in 1891, as Mr. Curzon expressly said that it was in order to 
restrict the area of cultivation. 

2411. Do you desire to express yourself as satisfied with 
the declarations that have been made by the representatives 
of the. Government so far as they went ? — We considered 
those decliirations to mark a progress decidedly from our 
point of view. 

2412. Do you now desire to say that the indications that 
have been given in Sir David harbour's evidence have been 
received by you with a certain amount of regret ? — Hegret 
and surprise, because we had been given to understand 
that the Government of India was carrying out the views 
expressed by Sir James Fergusson and Mr. Smith. 

2413. Have yon anything further to say with reference 
to this que^tion of acreage under poppy cultivation ? — Per- 
haps this will be the best place for me to say that, from our 
point of view, a gradual diminution of this kind cannot 
really be satisfactory ; it does not meet our main objection, 
which is that the trade is altogether an immoral one ; and 
if it is an immoral trade obviousl.v it ought to be stopped 
at once, and no question of gradual diminution can arise. 
But there is another point of view, apart from what 1 may 
call the moral point, from which we may look at the ques- 
tion — that is the point of view of practical philanthropy — the 
practical wish to put a stop to the consumption of opium 
in the East, and especially in China. I do not venture 
here to speak as representing all the members of cur 
society; I do not know whether they would all follow 
me ; — but for myself I should be willing somewhat to ky 
aside the urgency of the high moral point of view, namely, 
that the trade is immoral and should therefore at once and 
altogether be suppressed, if I could feel sure that by 
another course we should more speedily arrive at the real 
practical philanthropic object that we have in the stoppage 
of the ccmsumption of opium in China. I think Sir 
(ieorge Staunton in the debate in 1840 made a declaration 
that this trade could never be stopped except by a consensus 
of the Chinese and British Governments ; and, holding 
that he was right in that view, I should be satisfied to 
waive something of our claim that the trade must be 
immediately and absolutely suppressed, if it were necessary 
to do so, in order to obtain, from the Chinese Government, 
some concurrent action which would promise a more effec- 
tual ending of this great evil. My objection to gradual 
diminution on the lines laid down by the. Government in 
1891, and which we supposed the Indian Government had 
been adopting, is that practically it makes no difference to 
China. So long as there is no agreement with the Chinese 
Government th&t it will reciprocate those measuns, the 
practical effect simply is that perhaps 3,000 chests extra are 
produced in China instead of in India. I believe that the 
Indian opium is more injurious and deleterious than native 
grown opium, being much stronger. From that point of 
view there perhaps may be some improvement; but other- 
wise, as long as the British Government has no agreement 
with the Chinese Government that it will carry out the same 
policy in Cfaiua, a gradual diminution does nothing what- 
ever to put au end to the great evil that we deplore and 
against which we are combating. 

2414. Have you any reason to suppose that the Chinese 
Government is at the present time anxious to come to an 
agreement with the Government of India for the total 
prohibition of the use of opium ? Has it not been repre- 
sented to those who have recently been neaotiating on the 
part of the British Government, that the Chinese Govern- 
ment are of opinion that if they attempted to prohibit 
importation, the demand could be met by a local supply, 
and that, having that in view, they thought it more politic 
to check the consumption of opium by taxation .'' It was 
impossible to entertain at present a policy of total prohi- 
bition. Was not that represented by Sir Thomas Wade in 



his evidence in London, and is not that view confirmed 
by the course of negotiation in which the Marquess Tseng 
was engaged first with Loid Granville and afterwards with 
Lord Salisbury for modifications of the Chetbo Conven- 
tion? — I think that in the letter which the Marquess 
Tseng addressed to our Secretary, Mr. Turner, after the 
conclusion of the last treaty, he says that China will 
certainly be prepared to enter upon the consideration of 
further measures for the suppression of the traffic. 

2415. Can you cite a paKsnge in support of that view ? 
— I will do so. In 1869 the Chinese Goverument did 
make a proposal of that kind. 

2416. Perhaps you will bring us down to a more recent 
date P — I will do so directly. The Tsung-Li-Yameu, or 
Foreign Board, of China addressed to the Hritish Govern- 
ment, through Sir Rutherford Alcock, a memorial which 
is included in the papers which I presented yesterday under 
the title of " Chinese Statcmen on the Opium Traffic." 
" The writers hope that His Excellency will inemoriaiize his 
" Government to give orders in India and elsewhere to 
" substitute the ouliivation of cereals or cotton. Were both 
" nations to rigorously prohibit the growth of the poppy 
"both the traffic in and the consumption of opinni might 
"alike be put an end to." Shortly before the signing of 
the Additional Article of 1885, a special mission was again 
sent from China to Calcutta, to propose to the Indian Gov- 
ernment a scheme for the gradual suppression of the poppy 
cultivation in both countries. 

2417. Do you say that the commission was officially sent 
on the part of the Chinese Government ? — On the part 
of the Chinese Goveinmeot. Of that mission, so far as I 
am aware, no official account has ever bton published. 
Information has reached me through private sources that 
there was such a mii-sion. I believe that a gentleman em- 
ployed in the Chine.''e Customs' service came to Calcutta in 
order to ascertain whether it would not be possible to come 
to some such arrangement with the Indian Government. 

2418. For total prohibition ? — For gradual suppression 
in both countries concurrently, over a term of five or ten 
years. 

2419. What year was that ? — I do not know the exact 
year. As far as I know it has never been published. Per- 
haps the Commission will he able to get information in 
regard to it which is not at present before the public. I 
presume the Calcutta Goverument will have some record 
of the proceedings. 

2420. (Mr. Pease.) Is there any evidence that he was 
authorised by the Chinese Government p -I understood 
he came with the approval of the Chinese Govet-nment. 

2421. {Chairman.) Was he a properly accredited repre- 
sentative of the Chinese Government ? — I am not sure 
how far he was officially accredited. He must have received 
some introduction. I believe he was a gentleman in the 
service of the Imperial Maritime Customs of China. 

2422. You have no direct knowledge ?— No, it has simply 
reached me unofficially. Then I have here a quotation from 
a letter of Marquess Tseng written in 1886 to which I referred 
just now. In that letter addressed to our Secretary he said : — 
" This treaty I admit does not accomplish the de.sired 
" result, but it would prove nevertheless the first important 
"step towards checking the use and abuse of opium. The 
" British Government as well as my own will enjoy greater 
" facilities in future for re-opening negotiation on the 
" opium question with a view of agreeing to measures that 
•■ would reduce each year the quantity of importatiou and 
" consumption The British Government may in the . 
" meantime see its way clear to place restrictions upon the 
" present cultivation, in which case my Government would 
" surely lose no time in following the example and put an 
"effectual check upon the growth of opium in China." 
Since then the only evidence that I think I can bring before 
the Commission is derived from the interviews which His 
Excellency Li Hung Chang, the Great Chinese Viceroy, has 
accorded to some of our friends: to Mr. Dyer of Bombay 
in 1890, and mote recently to the Revd. William Glover of 
Bristol, and .Mr. Morriss, a deputation from the Baptist Mis- 
sionary Society, who were visiting China. In th(iSe inter- 
views Li Hung Chang expressed the great desire of the 
Chinese Government to put down the trade. Li Hung 
Chang expressed himself in the strongest terms as to the im- 
possibility of the Chinese Goveinmeut taking any practical 
step, except by some agreement with the British Govern- 
ment, which would aim at the suppression of the import 
from India. 

2423. Was Li Hung Chang on the occasions to which you 
are referring expressing his own individual views, or was 
he putting forward the opinion of his Governmi'nt? — I 
think he was speaking his own individual views, but the 

D 2 



Mr. J. Cf. 

Alexander, 

LL.B. 

21 Nov. 1893, 



28 



INDIAN OPIUM COJIMlfSION i 



Mr. J. a. 

Alexander, 
LL.Ii. 

21 N(iv. 1893, 



Commission has alrendj' lisd some evidence on thnt qiies- 
tion._ I think the Rtvd. 0. S. Adams put belove the Com- 
mission his very strong view tliat the statesmen of China 
are almost universally anxious to put down the entire trade. 
I have had similar very strong opinions from Dr. Dudgeon, 
of Pel;in, who was Private Secretary to the Marquess I seng, 
and who 'knows a f;reat deal of many of the higlier officials 
in Peliin ; and f nim. other sources I have derived that 
impression. I may remind the Oommixsion, too, that Sir 
Thomis Wade in his evidence said that many Chinese 
statesmen— he would not undertalte to sav whether or not 
the majority — are strongly opposed to the opium trrtffio. 
In (larticnlar Tso Tsung Tang, whose position and influence 
as I understand are only second to those of Li Hung Chang 
himself, is known as a strong and determined opponent of 
the opium traffic. 

Sir Thomas Wade pluced before ns in London a re- 
port of certain conferences on the Opium Question, wlii.'h 
liad taken pluce hetweeu liiinselE and the Ministers of 
the Tsung-Li-Yam^u in 1881-82. He called our attention 
to a declariition mnde by the Yamdn that, while desirini; to 
see the abuse of opium repressed in Ohina, the Yamen 
held tlie view that the habit was now so widely spread 
m china tliat any reform must be the result of a 
fTeneial moral improvement among the people; thut 
they lecosnise that the growth of opium in China had 
become so extensive that it would be impossible by merely 
putting an end to the trade in India to put an end to the 
supply of opium ; and tliat for the moment there were many 
que.-tions of greater urgency than the decisive sten ol' abso- 
lutely prohibiting the importation of opium. I believe that 
wastheelfect of the conversations to which Sir Tiiomas 
Wnde called our attention in London. I should say with 
regard to that cimver.sation referred to by Sir Thomns 
Wade that we only have his account of it, resting on his 
own private memoranda. We knovv how when a man has 
strong views he is apt to take others as agreeing with tiiem 
perhaps more than they really do ; and no official or public 
statement of that kind bus ever been made by Chinese 
statesmen. 

2424. That concludes what you have to say on that sub- 
ject? — Yes. 

2+25. In the concluding part of the third paragraph of 
your memorial you refer to the abidition of what are described 
as licensed smoking dens throughout India. Have you any- 
thing more to say upon that subject? — On that point we re- 
joice in the action nf the Government of India as a very de- 
cided step in the right direction. All that we have to say 
upiin that is that it seems to us that the measure requires 
supplementing by further measures in the same direction. 
That has been suggested in a correspondence presented to 
Pailiament this year at the in.stance of Mr. Caine — a corre- 
spondence arising out of a confidential circular issued by the 
Board of Revenue of the North-West Provinces and Ondh 
In his despatch to the Government of India closing that 
correspondence Lord Kimberley says, under date the lOtli 
of M.irch 1893: — '' The question arises whether the law 
"ought not to be strengthened, so as to en.ible sonr officers 
" to take legal steps for suppressing private opium saloons; 
"otherwise, if unlicensed saloons for opium-smoking c.in be 
"established without hindiance, the object which was 
" thought to be attained by prohibiting ouiam-snioking on 
"the premises of licensed opium vendors may he practically 
" defeated. I shall be gla't to leam the views of vour Gov- 
'■ erument on this point." 1 am not aware whether the 
Indian Government has replied to that enquiry of Lord 
Kiinberlej'. We strongly hold the view expressed by Lord 
Kimberley that it is desirable to prevent private and 
unlicensed opium dens or opium clubs being established so 
as to provide facilities within the law for this practice of 
opium-smoking, which the Indian Government has by its 
action and its minute recognized as being undoubtedly a 
very great evil. 

2426. Yon refer to the removal of the Minimum 
Guarantee Clause from the agreement made with those who 
hold opium licenses in f'ombay. Have yon anything to say 
On that? — I can only say that we also rejoice in that as a 
step in the right direction. 1 think I need not further 
comment upon it. 

I may he allowed to add one point. In going through 
India with Mr. Wilson 1 liave had my attention called to the 
fact that this measure of the suppression of opium dens 
has not been fully carried out. We visited three opium 
dens on the premises of licensed opium vendors, where 
we saw in three of them chandu-smoking and in one mailak- 
smokiiig going on just as if no order had been issued 
by the Government of India. I think it desirable to call 
the attention of the CommisBion to the fact that, although 



clauses have been put into the licenses in every province 
prohibiting the sale of opium for smoking on the premiKcS, 
those clauses have not been fully carried out, as I have 
seen with my own eyes. 

2127. [yfr. Fanshawe.) Were those public shops?— Yes. 

2428. Licensed public shops ?— We were told that 
they were licensed. Our gharry driver was a Mahomedan ; 
aTid we were told that he would be able to take us to the 
places. He took us and we found them open, with no 
concealment attempted at all. 

2429. Where were they?— In the town of Gya, in 
Behar. We were told that, there were some others also in 
the same town. We visited three. 

24H0 (Sir James Lyall.) In the third paragraph of yonr 
memorial yon speak of "the extremely objectionable 
"'minimum guarantee' clause contained in the opiuu) 
" licenses used in the Presidency of Bombay." Do you not 
think that that is a very strong term to use?— It seemu 
to me that it was extremely objectionable in it? natural 
operation. I am aware of the object which was intended 
in the insertion of that clause, that is, to prevent 3mu'.r- 
gling; but it seems to me that the necessary operation of 
such a clause would be that there _ would be great 
pressure put upon the licen.see to extend his sales so as not 
to incur the risk of a fine. 

2431. I think you are aware that before that system 
was invented theie was most extensive smuggling. The 
licensed vendors in Bombay, though they paid heavily 
for their licenses and sold a gi)od deal of opium, yet took 
hardly any of the high-priced Government opium for 
their shop and relied entirely upon the smuggling trade ? 
— I have been so informed. 

2432. So that there were strong reasons for it ? — I 
do not impute bad motives to the Government in adopt- 
ing that clause, nevertheless I think that the clause as 
adopted was extremely objectionable, as the memorial 
says, and I am glad that it has been done away witii. 

2433. A man could only have one shop, le could not 
establish branch shops; the license only allowed him to 
establish a certain shop and sell to anybody who came? — 
Kxcept with the permission of the Government official. 

2434. But that permission was not given as a rule, he 
had only one shop ?— Yes. 

2435. Would it then make a great difference in the 
amount he sold whether he had to pay the guaranteed 
amount or not ? — The ordinary motives of self-intere.<t 
would make a man sell as much as he conld. You may 
strengthen those motives by telling him that he is under 
a fine if he does not sell a certain quantity. 

2436. Under that strong motive how would he in.-rease 
the sale? — I have heard of such a practice since 1 have 
been in India as a man actually sending round to his 
customers, if they did not turn up at the accustomed 
period in the evening, to ask them why they did not come, 
in that way trying to induce a man who was probably 
only too ready to be induced and perhaps niak ng some 
struggle to free himself. That is not my invention, it is 
what I have been told as having actually taken place. That 
is one Way that 1 can suggest. 

2437. {Mr. Fiinskawe.) With regard to Gya, I under- 
stand that your statement d"pends on informatiim given 
you by a gharry driver. Did you notice if there was a 
licensed board up at the shop ? — The information was n t 
given by the gharrv driver, hut it was given me by the 
Baptist Pastor of the place. He referred to o ir driver 
as being a man who would know where the shops were. 
It was he who made the statement to us that the shops 
were Government licensed shops. 

2438. Was any licensed hoard np iu front of the shops ? 
— I did not observe any board. 

2439. (Mr. Mombray) You ire quire aware that similar 
difficulties have arisen in England with regard to clubs and 
public houses?— Yes. 

2440. You are aware that there was a Committee of 
the House of Commons silting on that subject last year ? 
— I did not remember that ; i take it from you, and 1 have 
no doubt it is so. 

2441. And so far as I know Government have not taken 
any steps to put down these clubs in England ? — I do not 
think they have, but I think the Temperance party, if I 
may speak as a humlile member of that party, is very 
desirous indeed and is endeavouring to put pressure upon 
the Government to introduce a measure dealing with 
clubs. 



MINUTES or EVIDENCE. 



29 



2443. (ifr. Wihon.) Upon that point abmit the hosus 
elubs 111 Engknd I suppose you are also iiware tlmt the 
members nf the licensed trade are equallj' anxious to get 
them put down ?— 1 believe it is so. 

,1 ,^**"^' ^]^^ reference to Gya you use the expression 
" 'I'onga driver," perhaps you took that in a general SHnse 
for any carriage? — I was thinking it was a Kbarry. 1 have 
Only been in India tliree and a half weeks, and I am not 
fauiiliar with these technical terms. 

244<li. I tliink you did not say that the driver gave you 
the information, but that he knew where the shops were ? — 
Yes. 

2445. (Chairman.) Returning to your General jMeniorial, 
there appears to be nothing in para<;raphs 4, 5 and 6 to 
which you de.sire pai-tiouhuly to call attention. Jn your 
4th piiragraph you say tliat you accept tho-se measures of 
reform which have already been adopted as steps in ihe 
right direction, but in your view tliose measures full shoi-t 
(if carrying out the resolution wiiich the House of Commons 
had aiipioved. You then proceed to make a reference to 
the observations of Mr. Gladstone to the Kleetorii of 
Midlothian, and you hold that those observations imply a 
sympathy witli the cause which you have taken up. You 
tlien refer to the specific measures which you would 
recommend for adoption with a view to tlie repression of 
the opium trade. You also refer to tlie Benj;al opium 
monopoly, to the IVTalwa transit duty system, and to the 
excise system. Then in your 7tl\ paragraph you proceed 
to deal somewhat more in detail with the Bengal opium 
monopoly. You recommend that there should be an 
immediate reduction in the area of poppy cultivation with 
a view to limiting the production of opium to that which 
medical use requires ; and you complain th.it opium is 
not prepared in India for medical use, but solely for sen- 
sual indulgence Have you anything further to say npon 
that subject? — I should like to point oH under this para- 
graph the great distinction between opium prepared for 
medical use and opium prepared for smoking or opium 
eating, which is_ what we mean by sensual indulgence — 
the habits of opium smoking and opium eating. 1 believe 
it to he a fact tiiat the Hritish Pharmacopoeia does not admit 
of the use of Indian opium in tlie preparation of medicines 
in England. Its quality is not good enough for medical 
purposes. I am not an export on those questions, 
but I may refer to Kliickijjer and Hanbnry's Plinrma- 
cographia, in which the various ingredients are discussed, 
and it is shown that Indian opium, though very 
potent for intoxic.iting purposes, does not contain a suffi- 
cient proportion of those ingredients which are specially 
useful for medical purposes. In this paragraph we point 
out that a s[)ecially prepared article is issued fiora the 
Government Agencies to the IVIedical Department in India. 
1 beiieve that is the Patna garden opium. I think that 
\)T. Watt's article on opium specifies that. No doubt a good 
Heal of opium prepared for the Excise Department, and 
prepared, as I should say, for intoxicating use, is in fact 
used by doctors in India for medical purposes. And Dr. 
Maxwell, who gaire evidence with regard to China, told me 
that, when practising in Formosa, having run out of medical 
opium, he bad used the Indian smoking opium. 

2446 (iSiV Tf' iUiam Bobe)-fe.) I think he said Indian 
crude opium ?— That is what I mem, crude opium intended 
to be prepared for smoking purposes. 

2-14,7. He added that it answered just as well ? — 1 
did not remember th it. I suppose he must have used it 
in some different proportions. 

2448. The differences are really very slight ?—Fliipk- 
iger and Hanbury, I think, speak of the difference as being 
considerable. 

2449. The analyses can he had; the differences are very 
slight ? — I may point out that Dr. Kliicidger has sug- 
gested that the Indian Government would do well to pay 
attention to the demand for good opium for medical -use, 
that it might very well prepare opium with a view of com- 
peting with the Turkey drug which at present has a mono- 
poly for medio&l use in Great Britain and Europe general- 
ly. I have various authorities that I can refer to on the 
question of its being prepared for what I call sensual indul- 
gence. That largely rests upon a statement made by 
Julius Jeffreys, P. R.S., formerly Staff Surgeon of Cawn- 
pore, and Staff Surgeon at Fatehgarh, published in 1858 
in an appendix to a book on the British Army in India : — 
" .My own acquaintance with the subject dates from 
"the year 1831, when, in passins; by water the chief opium 
" magazine of the Bast India Company at Patna, I paid a 
" visit to a friend who had charge of the scientific department 
"of it. After he had led me through story after story and 
"gallery alter gallery of the factory, with opium balls rigltt 



" and left tiered in shelves to the ceilling:, upon my expres- j^^ j_ g. 
" sing amazement at an exhibition of opium enough to sup- Alexander, 
" ply the medical wants of the world for years, he replied, LL.B. 

"nearly in these words : ' I see yon are very innocent; 

'"these stores of opium have no such beneficent destination. 21 Nov. 1893. 

" ' It is all goiiij! to debauch the Chinese, and my duty is to 

" ' maintain its smack as attractive to them as possible. Come 

'"to my laboratory.' There I saw broken balls of opium 

"procured, I uniarslood, from China, by the Hengal Govern- 

" ment, as approved musters ( samples ) for imitation, iiy the 

"cultivators." Mr. Jeffreys adds :" Upon looking around 

"tor information, I heard that the natives, where they 

" ventured an opinion, the Mahomedans especiall}^, were 

" equally scandalized at the engagement of the Company in 

" such a traffic." 

2450. What year was that P— The visit was in 1831. 

2451. I presume you are aware that very little was iben 
kmwn about opium smoking? — Not very much in 
1831. It Was about 1840 that the first pamphlets came 
out attacking the opium trade, or shorily before 1841. In 
]83i) there was very little information on the suhject, 
though Bishop Thoburn referred to the fact that it was 
condemned in very strong terms in the Iin|ieachment of 
Warien Hastings more than 100 years ago. And the East 
Indian Company's despatch, I think of 1817, sanctioning the 
establishment of the excise system of selling opium in 
India, spoke in ihe strongest teiras of condemnation of the 
habit. The Directors snid that were it possible in compas- 
sion to mankind they would gladly stop the traffic alto- 
gether. 

2452. (Chairman^ These remarks bear upon the .subject 
generally, not upon the Bengal opium monopoly. Have 
you anything to say witn regard to the special question 
of the Hengal opium monopoly ? — I think I. have nothing 
further to add. 

2453. Do you draw any distinction in point of moral 
responsibility between the working of a system such as 
the Bengal opium monopoly and the position taken by the 
Government in other parts of India where it is not a manu- 
facturer or producer, and interposes ouly to levy export 
duties and to enforce the payment of licenses. Do you 
draw any distinction between the two positions? I believe 
that has been done in some pamplilets issued by your Asso- 
ciation ? — I was intending to deal with that under para- 
graph 13, but I may as well tiike it here. I may say that 
the opinions expressed in that pamphlet dealing with Sir 
William Muir's minute are not the opinions held by our 
Si.oiety now ; at least our conclusions are not the same. 

2454. When was that pamphlet publishsd ? — Very early 
in t'le history of the Society. 

2455. What year about?— 1875. 

i456. You were not connected with the society at that 
time?— I was not. 

2457. Was Sir Joseph Pease connected with it ? — 
Yes ; but he Was not President then. Lord Shaftesburv was 
President until his death. There was originally some differ- 
ence of view, as I explained in London. In starling the 
Sbcietyit was committed to no very definite policy. Thatcame 
out in a meeting at the Mansion House held in 1881, when 
three diSerent speakers suggested three different lines. 
One was for total prohibition with the exception of medical 
use (of course whenever we use the term " suppression " 
or "prohibition" of the traffic we mean "except for 
medical use "). Another speaker advocated a policy of 
gradual suppression. 

2458. Who was the second speaker? — I am not quit© 
sure now ; I almost think it was Lord Shaftesbury himsel:|, 
but I am not sure. A tliird speaker, who I think was Sir 
Robert Fowler, our late Treasurer, advocated that the change 
of policy should be on the lines of Sir William Muir's 
minute. On that occasion Curdinal Manning was another of 
the speakers. He came after the speaker who advocated 
the Bombay system, iind he quoted the old story about the 
kins; who wished that all his nobles had but one neck so 
that he mia;ht strike them all off at a blow, and he applied 
that to theoiiium trattic. He very strongly objected to the 
snugestion that the opium traflac should be handed over to 
private cipiialists, because he pointed out that if that were 
the case, you would at once have a number of vested in- 
terests, like those that we have in Kngland in connection 
with the liquor traffic. He would rather have the one 
neck of the Government of India to deal with. He 
thought that the question of compensation, if it came at 
all, might have to be a question of what England should 
pav the'^people of India in order to help them out of their 
difficulty. I do not know whether he put that into his 
speech,— perhaps that is rather my own suggestion. At all 



80 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



Mr. J. O. events he would rather have the one neck of the Govern- 
Alexander, ment of India to deal witl> than have tlie vested rights of 
LL.B. a number of private oapitalisls. Since that time thiit view 
„, .j^ ;„„„ has been completely areepti'd by oiiv Societv, and in the 
'""• ^^ ^' Statement of Facts and Principles which I "pit in, ai.d 
which was adopted by us at the beginning of 1886, the 
suppression of tlie Bengal monopoly was for the first time, 
I think, distinctly laid down as the programme of the 
Society, and it is embodied in paragraph 13 of the memo- 
rial to Lord Kimberley. 

2159. (Sir James Lyall.) Suppression of the cultivation; 
not merely of the monopoly, but of the cultivation ? — 
Not merely of the monopoly, but of the cultivation. 

2460. [Chairman.) You put that forward now as the view 
held unanimously by the members of your Society ? — Un- 
animously by the active members of our Society. 

2461. What interpretation do you put upon the passage 
in Sir Joseph Pease's speech last session which I quoted in 
question to Sir David Barbour ? — I think Sir Joseph 
Pease only meant to say what we have said in paragraph 
13, that is, that the Calcutta sales aie the most prominent 
and the most obviously indefensible part of the system 
from our point of view ; that the Malwa system h;is more 
analogy to the drink traffici repressed by taxation with which 
we are familiar in our own country ; and that the fact that 
the Government holds this position under the monopoly 
brings out in a more glaring light the evils of the system. 

2462. You have nothing fiirt\ier to say on the Bengal 
monopoly P You hare stated that you object to the sys- 
tem ? — I had better mention here what I had intended to say 
under paragraph 13. It is sometimes said that there are 
no precedents for the prohibition of atrade ii this way by a 
Government. I venture to put before the Commission two 
precedents, both relating to the liquor traffic. One is under 
the North Sea Convention for the protection of sailors in 
the North Sea against tlie liquor trartic that used to be 
carried on by what were called " copers." 

2463. You would not draw any parallel between the 
North Sea liquor traffic and the opium tiafficof India in 
point of magnitude ? — No, not in point of magnitude 
certainly. I refer to it simply as answering the objection 
that has been raisfd against our proposal that it is alto- 
gether unprecedented. That is a precedent, I think, lor 
the absolute prohibition ot a traffic of similar character. 
The second, which was referred to by .Ur. Pease in his exa- 
mination in London of one of the witnesses, is that of the 
Brussels Anti-Slavery Convention, under which a larjte zone 
of ('entral Africa is absolutely protected from the liquor 
traffic. The provision is that where vested rights have 
not yet been acquired, that is to say, where the liquor traffic 
has not yet been carried on in Africa, it is to be totally pro- 
hibited. This Convention also provides by taxation for the 
limitation of the traffic, its restriction by taxation in those 
districts where it already existe.l before the Conventioa. 

2464. In the case of Africn, I apprehend there is no 
difference of opinion among professional experts as to the 
eSect of indulgence in liquor by the African tribes ; — they 
are unanimous that it is a bad thing ? — That is so ; and I 
think there is practical unanimity iu regard to the effects of 
opium in China. 

2465. With regard to the Malwa system, you deal with that 
in the 8th paragraph, and you say that, with a view to pre- 
venting the cultivation of opium beyond what is required for 
medical use, it is desirable that there should be a mutual 
prohibition enforced alike in British India and in the Malwa 
States, and you say that if such an airanjjement were made, 
the objection which has been urj;ed on the part of the 
Government of India to the proposals on the ground of 
smuggling would be to a large extent removed. Have you 
anything to say in development of these views? — I would 
simply more clearly bring out our view that the Bengal 
trade ought first to be stopped. The Qoverniuent of India 
ought first, according to our view, to cease itself from 
deriving a revenue from carrying on this trade. Having 
stopped the Bengal system, and having given up its own 
revenue, it would then be in a position to go to the Chiefs 
of the Native States and say : " We on moral grounds have 
" abandoned this trade, feeling that it is an indefensible 
" trade, and we ask you to follow our example." 

2466. How long would yon concede to the Government of 
India for the purpose of dealing with the case in Bengal ? — 
I would say that it should be done as quickly as possible, 
and would say : Stop the trade immediately and convert the 
stocks you have in hand to medical use at once. 

2467. You recognise the financial difficulty ? — Yes, I 
do, but I am unable to put a financial difficulty on the same 
line with a moral objection. I think England should give 
help in regard to the financial difficulty certaiuly. 



2468. You think that the Imperial Exchequer should 
come to the rescue ?— Yes, that I propose to deal with later 
on. I should like to add another point on the 8th paragraph" 
I think Ihat pressure upon the Niitive States would he justi- 
fiable, should it become necessary, on the ground that in the 
past we have forced the trade upon the Chinese ; that if 
the Chinese Government had succeeded in its effort in 1840 
to put down the trade, the Native States would have lost the 
whole of their trade. _It was the force of the I'ritish arms 
that established the tracle, and has kepi the trade open ever 
since, and on that ground we should be entitled to exercise 
pressure upon the Native States if neeessary,_ though [ 
would only advocate that in the last resort, rnaking use of 
our power as surrounding the Native territories. I have a 
note about the smuggling of opium. That difficulty would 
of course be met, as far as regards the States of Central 
India which produce opium, by an arrangement of the 
kind that I have suggested with the Native States. Some 
little difficulty might no doubt arise as regards smuggling 
over the North- West Frontier, and perliaps Bhopal, but I do 
not think that it is so formidiible as is often stated. Sir 
Charles Aitchison in his memorandum in 1880, with regard 
to opium ill Burma, says — " As regards snnuggling, I do not 
" believe that, even with our open seaboard of 1,000 miles 
" and our long and unguarded frontier with Upper Burma, 
" the Shan St.ites, and Siam, there would be a very great 
"inoreasein illicit traffic, either from Bengal or from China, 
"if the importation of opium were altogether forbidden and 
" the possession of opium were made illegal. Already the 
"price of opium is artificially forced up to a maximum, 
"presenting the very strongest temptation to the smuggler, 
" while the Jfact that possession of the drug is not unlawful 
" increases the difficulty of detection. The pecuniary 
" temptation cannot become very much greater than it is 
"if opium were altogether forbidden; the drug wherever 
"found would be contraband without question, and we 
"should have the sympathies of the people with us in the 
"suppression of smuggling. One fact is worth a bushel of 
"argument; we have succeeded in almost stamping out 
" ganja, although the phint from which it is made grows 
" wild in iJurma. The difficulties we have iu any case to 
"contend with in preventing smuggling are so great that 
" an addition to tliem would not be a very appreciable 
"burden. Anyhow, smuggling, even on a considerable 
"scale, would never lead to the universal consumption of 
" the drug; and the evasion of the revenue is not to be 
'■ compared to the gradual demoralization of the people." 

2169. [Sir James Lyall.) With reference to the Bengal 
opium monopoly, I understand that your Society admits that 
the Bengal monopoly system is preferable to the Malwa or 
export duty system as the more powerful engine for re- 
stricting and regulating internal consumption; and the 
preference is not based simply upon the fact that it is easier 
to attack, but it is also admitted that, if the prohibition of 
cultivation is not to be enforced, the Bengal monopoly sys- 
tem is the most powerful engine possible for restricting 
and regulating the internal consumption ? — I do not think 
we have ever admitted that. We recognise that there will 
be a risk in changing the system — that if we really changed 
the system, we might find ourselves worse off. My own 
private opinion is that we should not find ourselves worse 
off, in all probability. 

2470. Not worse off in what way p— I mean there might 
be a greater consumption— it might possibly lead to a 
greater trade. 

2471. If you free the trade P^And simply placed it 
under a system of excise, similar to that which wc hare 
at home iu regard to the manufacture of beer. 

2472. You do not think that your Society admitted that, 
but you yourself are inclined to think so P— I beg your par- 
don, I am inclined to think otherwise. 

2473. What, that the free trade system is better for in- 
ternal consumption than the bengal system?— I do not 
suppose that anybody contemplated free trade. 

2474. Free growth and excise and export dutv?— Excise 
and export duty, a system such as that sketched 'out by Sir 
William Muir, which is one of licensing the growth. 

2475. Do you think that would be better for regulating 
and restricting internal consumption than the Bem^al mon 1° 
poly system P— Yes. My personal opinion is that probably 
there would be less growth and less trade altogether under 
such a system than under the present system, 

2476. I am speaking of interuiil consumption?— I have 
not formed an opinion about tliat. 1 recognize that there 
are risks, and that we might find ourselves worse off. The 
Society has recognized those risks, and duos not wish to 
make the experiment. 



MINUTIC8 OF EVIDENCE. 



81 



2477. Are you aware that poppy cultivation once extended 
throughout India in all parts where the soil and the climate 
were suitable, though, except in certain favourable tracts, 
it was sown mainly or enlirely for local cousumption, 
not for the export trade; and are you aware tliat the 
operation of the Bengal opium monopoly and the policy 
of the Government of India in connection with it since 
its first establishment, more than a hundred years ago, 
have had the effect of putting an end to poppy cultiva- 
tion in much the greater part of British India and in 
the greater part of the territory held by the Native 
States — are you awai-e of that ? — I could not say that I was 
aware of it as regards the Native States. As regards 
British India I ana aware that poppy cultivation existed 
here and there over a large part of it until the measures at 
the end of the last century were taken which we have 
referred to in paragraph 11. 

2478. In Mysore and Hyderabad, by agreement with the 
Government, poppy cultivation was prohibited. There are 
two instances; and all the Native States under the control 
of Bombay are also other instances ? — I cannot say I was 
aware of it. I have no doubt you are correct. 

2479. Then but for the monopoly and the policy in con- 
nection with it, would not the cultivation of the poppy and the 
consumption and export of opium have been in all probability 
much greater than they are under the present system ?— It 
is quite possible. I cannot form a definite opinion as to 
what would have been. 

2480. I ask the qnestion because in the anti-opium litera- 
ture these facts are altogether ignored , and it migh t be thought 
that we had introduced the cultivation of the poppy and 
entirely created the export trade — I think we have fre- 
quently used the fact that the Government of India prohibit 
and put down the opium growth in many parts of India as 
an argument why it should and could do the same in 
the remainder of India. We have used that as an argu- 
ment in paragraph 11, and we refer to it in oar publications. 

2481. In paragraph 7 you speak of limiting the production 
of opium to that wbich medical'use requires. That means, 
does it not, that it must only be supplied on medical 
advice? — That is our view. 

2482. But the mass of natives of India prefer their own 
system of medicine to ours ; they may admit the superiority 
of our surgery, but they prefer their own system of 
medicine. Our doctors on the contrary say that their 
ideas of medicine are all wrong. Is not that a difficulty 
in laying down a rule that opium should only be supplied 
on medical advice of some kind ? — I should not have 
thought so. I include in medical advice Native as well 
as European doctors, advice according to the native system 
as well as according to the European. 

2483. You are aware that the medical system of the 
village doctors is of a most primitive kind possible ? — I was 
aware of that. 

2484. That people administer medicine for themselves, a 
man advising for his own family or for his neighbour p— 
We attempt to deal with that in England, where people also 
medicate themselves to a great extent, by directing that 
no medicine of a poisonous character shall be sold except by 
druggists. 

2485. Do you think from what you know or what you 
have heard of India that the native practitioners, the Hakims 
and Vaids, can be trusted with the power of prescribing 
opium and siying whether it shall be used for medical purpos- 
es or not, there being great inducements for them to misuse 
their power owing to the large demand for opium as a stimu- 
lant? — My answer is that you must work with such tools as 
you have. Although it may be true that the medical profes- 
sion in India (using the word in the Urge sense of all who 
practise medicine) is not in a very satisfactory state, and that 
there would be some temptations of the kind you have sug- 
gested, yet it is far better that a general restriction should 
be applied than that the sale should be perfectly public and 
open, and every man allowed to get poisonous drugs exactly 
as he pleases. 

2486. You know that opium is a stimulant, as alcohol is ; 
would it not be very difficult to draw a line between the 
use of such a thing for medical requirements and its use 
for other purposes ? I mean this. If yon asked most 
people who took opium moderately why they took it at all, 
they would nearly all answer that they took it because they 
thought it did them good ; how can you possibly draw a 
line and gay that in this case it is for medical use and in 
that case it is not P — I cannot admit the suggestion that 
most people in India who use opium, even as you say mo- 
derately, would say that it was doing them good. It may 
be so, and my limited knowledge of India does not entitle 



me to say that it is not, but I cannot be taken to admit Mr J £/. 
that it is. I have heard a good deal in India to the Alexander, 
contrary ; that those who tiike opium admit that it does not LL.B. 

do them gtod, even where they take it in comparatively 

small doses. " 21 Nov. 1893, 

2487. (Sir WiHinm Roberta.) Do you not recognize the 
analogy between the use of brandy in our country, partly as 
an intoxicant and largely as a domestic remedy, and the use 
of opium? Is not the parallel pretty even ?— No, I should 
have thought not. 

2188 Why not P— There is this broad distinction at all 
events, that opium has been recognized by medical science as 
a poison, and that at home we do attempt to protect our 
people from its indiscriminate use in that way. We have 
not yet given that protection at home against alcohol, and 
if it were to be extended to India it would be something 
beyond what we have at home. 

2189. Is not that begging the question that India and 
home are identical in rejiard to opium? — It is assuming 
that opium, being a poison in England, is also a poison in 
India. We certainly do assume that. 

2490. {Sir James Li/all.) Are you aware that the English 
system which you recommend to be introduced is not suffi- 
cient for preventing any person who wants to get opium for 
excessive indulgence ?— We have admitted in our 9th para- 
graph that the provisions of the present law as retiards opium 
are too lax. I may exnlain briefly what the provisions are in 
the Pharmacy Act. The Act divides poisons into two cate- 
gories — violent poisons, amongst which strychnine and arse- 
nic are included, and milder poisons, amongst which opiuiji 
and all the preparations of opium are included. With regard 
to the more violent poisons the provisions are exceedingly 
strict; they can only be sold by certified druggists, who must 
make entries and have a knowledge of the person to whom 
they are selling. With regard to opium, and other milder 
drugs, the provisions are Only that it must be sold by a re- 
gistered druiijgist, and that it must be labelled " poison." 
There is a considerable amount of medical opinion at home 
fur taking opium out of the milder category and putting it 
in the stricter. 

2491. You are aware that under the present system in the 
fens and other parts of England where opium is freely taken 
as it is in India the druggists have it prepared on market 
days on their counters? — Yes. 

2492. People come in and take the opium without ques- 
tion ? —I am aivare that that is so, and that medical men and 
other observers in the districts speak of it as a very great evil 
and greatly deplore that such a state of things exists. 

2493. Some do and some do not ; some medical men justi- 
fy the system ? — 1 think I have seen one opinion of that kind, 
but I have heard a good many to the contrary, 

2t94. Has your Society ever thought out any system for 
India by which opium would be available for medical use 
and yet not available as a stimulant ? — We have taken the 
view that that was a question upon which we at home could 
not work out the details, that we could only lay down prin- 
ciples and leave the Indian Goveniment, which knows India 
and has its olfiuials to consult, to ascertain the best way 
of applying those principles. 

2193. In paragraph 8 you say : — " As regards Malwa 
"opium we would point out that the present wide extension of 
" P°PP.V cultivation in the Native States is due to the policy . 
"of the British Government itself." Then you go on 
to quote as an authority the statement made by Mr. St. 
Georsje Tucker. Has your society made any further 
enquiry to test the correctness of Mr. Tucker's statement ? 
Does it still adhere to the statement as true in fact that 
the present wide extension of poppy cultivation is due to 
the policy of the British Goveniment itself ? — I do not 
think the society can be said to have made any further en- 
quiry. I have received from yourself information with 
which you were good enough to furnish me with on the 
voyage out, which I admit tends to show that Mr. Tucker 
somewhat inaccurately represented the state of the case. We 
naturally took his statement as being that of a very great 
authority ; and we were not aware of any facts which would 
displace the statement. 

2496. You have not seen the memorandum as to the 
arrangement with the Native States which the Govern- 
ment of India has prepared ?— No ; I only received if 
yesterday, and I have not been able to look through it. 

2497. Have you looked at the subject in Sir Charles 
Aitchison's work ?— I looked up his book end I was unsuc- 
cessful in finding any trace of the opian: question. Perhap» 
there was a foot-nota somewhere. 



82 



INDIAN OPIIIJI COVlMl!=S!OI<r ; 



Mr. J. G. 2498. There is a opy oE the Treaty made in 1820 with 

Alexancler, Holkar and a similar treaty was made with niiifi other States. 

LL.B. In liis philanthropic zeal Mr. Tucker mistdok the facts ami 

. .,j^j^ ■ miarepresentedthem. You will find the Ireiity t;iveri there? 

tradict Mr. Tucker's statement. I think Sir Charles 
Aitchison's object was to show that the new arrangement 
was better than the old ; and tliat it seems to me, from 
every point of view, it undoubtedly is. 

2-t99. You mean bettor than that made by treaty ? 
—Yes. 

2500. Better for the Native States. They objected 
strongly to the old arrangement ; and so did the natives. 
The object of the treaties was to bring poppy cultivation 
into control and reduce it for ihe beneht of the Beni;al 
Ojiium? — It led to a system of espionage which was unen- 
ilnrable. We mention, in paragraph 8, thai the old treaties 
were repealed. 

2501. Mr. Tucker states that we contracted burdensome 
treaties with the Eajput Si^ates to introduce and to extend 
the cultivation of the poppy. There he was entirely wrong, 
as any reference to the authorities will show. — I am glad 
to know that it is so. I take it from you. 

2502. When you say : " at the present time the Native 
"Stales engage so to mannge their opium cultivation and 
"production as to safeguaid the British revenue; and in 
" exchange for this sertice they receive either money 
■" compensaticm or other concessicins. " Did you imagine 
that the Native States theie referred to were the same 
Native States — the Rajput Native States or Rajputana or 
Central India P — Yes. 

2503. As a matter of fact they are not the same Native 
Slates p — We have given a reference to the passage. It 
is not our statement, but the statem-nt of tlie Government 
of India in the Raport on the Moral and Material Progress 
of India, 1887-88. 

■2501. Those States are Bombay Native States P — Yes. 

2505. The Native States under the Hombay Government; 
it may be that other Native States iire included like Hyder- 
abad and My>ore; but in all cases when money compensa- 
tion or other concessions are given they are i^iven with v, 
ri^striclive object ? — All I can say is that that did not appear 
to us to be the meaning of the paragraph. If yon tell me 
it is so, I will accept it on yonr statement. In my examin> 
ation-in-chief, I have endeavoured to puv the case as regards 
the Malwa opium on quite different and broader grounds. 

2506. Would it not have been better to enquire of some per- 
son in authority before making a statement of that sort in a 

■letter like this?— I think we were surely justified in taking 
these statements from two such high aothorilie.-i and putting 
them down in their plaiti and obvious meaning. Of course 
we labour under great diificulties in England. Not nearly 
all the papers of the Government of India, its reports and 
despatches, are published in England. 

2507. You piece the two things together — Mr. Tucker's 
statement of 1829, and something that is said in the Moral 
and Material Pios^ress iu 1887 — sixty years after. Surely 
you might have enquired of some peison in authority? — 
Those two statements seemed to justify the statement we 
made. 

2508. [Mr. Fanshawe.) Yonr Society has recommended 
that opium should only he purthaseable in clicniists' shops ? 
— It has never made that recommendation so far as I 
know. 

2509. The recommendation is in a pamphlet addressed by 
the President of your Society to Lord Cross. A similar re- 
commendation was made hy some medical men at home, and 
is quoted with approval in that pamphlet, I was under the 
belief, therefore, that it had been distinctly ttated by 
yonr Society. — It has not been made by the Society ; it 
certainly has not come belbre me as an official publi3ation. 

2510. Does not this letter from the President, dated 
March 1892, which is now before me represent the Society ? 
— The Society is nut committed to every statement in that 
letter certainly. 

2511. Does it not represent the views of the Society? — 
Will you read the words p 

2512. At page 23 the President says : " With regard to 
" No. 2, dealing with old established habits, I would submit 

' " for yonr Lordship's consideration that in substitntint; the 
"chemist's shop for the oyium market, etc.,"— putting 
that forward as a recommendation of the Society. Then 
" he saysat page 25 : — "1 believe your Lordship is already 
"awarethat upwards of 5.000 medical men, some of them 
"knowing India thoroushly, have signed the following 
"declaration:" one of the paragraphs being "That the 



•' dvns opium ousht in India as in England to be classed 
"and sold as a poison and be pnrchaseahle from chemists 
"only." I should like to ask what your Society contem- 
plates in speaking of the chemist-s' shops as applied to 
a larg' pari; of India? — Our Society has not made that 
proposal. Our proposals will be found in paragraph 9 
carefully worded. 

2513. What proposals? — " We would urge upon your Lord- 
'■ ship to request the Indian Government without delay to 
" prepare and adopt such regulations under the Indian Opium 
" and Kxcise Acts as may be found best suited to adapt to the 
" requirements of British India the fundamental principles 
" ihat the sale of poisonous drusfs is to be restricteii to medi- 
" cal and scientific use, and that discretionary powei-s for 
" such sale should be entrusted only to i-esponsible and Care- 
"iuUy selected persons, who possess adequate knowledge of 
" the deleterious properties of these drugs, who can readily be 
" Called til account for any improper use of the discretion 
" conferred upon them, and whose remuneration in no degree 
" depends on the amount of their sales." 

2514. Then I may take it that your answer is that you 
have not thought out for yourselves the means by which the 
opium could be supplied, even for medical purposes, through- 
out the country? — I did not say we had not thought it 
out, bntthatwe had left it to the Indian Government to 
apply the principles laid down in the way that the circum- 
stances of India miitht require^the principles which under- 
lie our home legislation. 

2515. You do not see the difficulties ? — I have no doubt 
there are difficulties, but I do not know what Goveraments 
and statesmen are for if it is not to deal with difficulties 
and overroine them. 

2516. With regard to the limitation to medical use only, 
I will ask yon to take the case of the Central Provinces, 
where Dr. Kioe told us that many persons living in 
malarial conditions, the causes being cimstant and the 
effects consiant, take opium in very moderate doses. Would 
you cut off that whole class of Indian society from the 
possibility of obtaininsr opium? — I spent some days in the 
Central Provinces, and I was informed that a meaaur-3 of 
this kind would be ^'cnerally welcomed. 

2517. How would you arrange to provide those men with 
that kind of dose, so small that it was described a- almo.it 
a, medicinal use, or do you intend that they should be cut 
off from the possibility of obtaining it?— I think it is 
quite necessary as part of the pi>licy of prohibition. I have 
been everywhere told in lu'lia that those moderate doses 
almost invariably lead to greater doses — that those who 
begin go on to more. 

2518. Are you aware that in many parts of India very 
great changes in temperature take place, especially dnrint; 
the cold seasons, and that generally malarial conditions 
prevail ? — Yes. 

2519. If it were shown that the use of opium is a com- 
fo;t in the way of enabling men to withstand cold, ill-cl.id 
men as most of them are— would you still proposi' thnt 
they should be entirely d-prived? — [ apprehend that if the 
Commission is satisfied ou that point, it will not report in 
favour of prohibition. 

2520. But your wish is to confine the use to medical pur- 
poses p— Of course, our Society has a conviction that it is 
not necessary. Hut even if it were established that there are 
sime districts in India where there is a moderate use which 
is_ perhaps not injurious but even sligtitly beneficial, we 
might still think that the evils produced by opium are so 
great that any deprivation to small classes of that kind 
would be greatly overbalanced by the benefit to the people 
of India as a whole from the prohibitive policy. 

2521. But if it could be shown that they are not small 
classes but to some extent l^rge classes?— It must be 
simply a question of a balance of considerations. 

2522. [Sir James Lyall.) You said you wonld be prepared 
to out off those classes of moderate consumers from the u-e of 
opium, but ill answer to my question you said you would 
entrust the diserelion of prescribing opium for medical u<e to 
all the Vaids and Hakims, native medical practitioners in 
India. _ Would not these medical practitioners p, escribe 
opium in those cases P — That seems to me a very hvpothetical 
qiiestion. Perhaps I made rather too lar-e an" adn.ission 
when 1 assumed that medical advice would include all such 
practitumers. I am not suffioientU' aequaitited with the 
classes of which you speak. It may be that some of them 
are what we call quacks, whom the law would not reco^niize 
as entitled to give medical advice. ° 

2523. {Mr. Moiohray.) Did I understand vou to say fliat 
your Society contemplated in the last resort compulsion 'in the 



MINUTES OK EVIDENCE. 



33 



case of these Vative States, if the cultivation of the poppy 
in Biilish India were abandoned ?— Yes, I think so. These 
Native States are entirely dependent for tlieir export tiade 
upon the permission of tlie British Government that the 
drug should pass through its Slates, and if the Government 
had stopped its own trade purely on moral gronmis, 
I think it would, in the last resort, be justified in refusing 
that permission to the isative States 

2524, I suppose your Society contemplated the alternative 
mitliod of compensation? — -1 do not thin k 1 can say otH- 
ciall}' that the Society lias done so. No doubt that might 
come into operation. I do not think the Society would 
have any objection of principle, if it can be shown that 
tiiere is a real hardship in i-utting off some of the revenue 
from the Native States, to their receiving compensation. 

2525^ 1 should have thought that before contemplating 
compulsion you would have contemplated the necessity of 
compensation? — We have been unable to asoarlaiu exactly 
how far the Native States derive any substantial revenue 
from this system, and until one hus the facts as to the 
profits derived, Irom the Native States, it seems premature 
to go into the question of compensation. I hope the Com- 
mission will obtain full evidence on that point. 

2526. With regard to the financial statement put forward 
by your Society with regard to the Indian Government, and 
the readiness of the English people to provide money in 
substitution of the opium revenue, that item has not been 
taken into consideration ? — It has not. 

{Mr. Wilson.) You have referred to the Bombay system. 
I think it is unfortunate that the Commission has not had 
some official witnesses to describe to us exactly what the 
existing system is in different parts of India. 

(Ckairman.) You will have them. 

2527. (Mr. Wilson.) It is like putting the cart before the 
horse. 1 am therefore obliged to ask you to tell the Com- 
mission what you understand to be the borahay system. — 

1 cannot do better than by reading paragraph 6, sub-sectioa 

2 ui the memorial; "The Malwa tran.sit duty system, under 
" which, by arrangement of the Indian Government, opium 
"grown and prepared in some of the Native States of Central 
"India pays to the Government of India, on its passage to 
'■' Bombay for export, a heavy transit duty, equal to nearly 
" two-thirds of the present wholesale price at Uoinbay ; the 
' revenue obtained from it by the Native Princes being only 
"a small percentage of that received by the Government of 
" India." 

2528. With r-eference to the use of opium by certain per- 
sons or classes, have you ever contemplated the possibility 
of a system of registration such as already pievails in 
some parts of Uurmn p — It has recently been introduced in 
Lower Burma, aud it is a suggestion that we have consider- 
ed, but on which we have not finally pronounced an opinion 
that possibly some system of that kind might be devised, 
or become necessary, to meet the case of habitual consu- 
mers, so that you might allow them to continue to obtain the 
drug in doses to which they are accustomed, whilst stopping 
the spread of the habit by making it impossihle for fresh 
individuals to obtain the drug in the same way. 

2529. Has the possibility of any system of local option 
been at all considered ? — I do not think I can say that our 
Society has considered that. The Anglo-Indian Temper- 
ance Society, of which Mr. Caine is Honorary Secretary, 
and which on this opium quesiion in India works con- 
currently with our own, has considered it, and I believe 
it has pronounced in favovrr of local option as applied to 
opium as well as hemp drugs. But our Society has never 
officially pronounced an opinion on the question of local 
option. 

2530. May we take it that the Society has never consi- 
dered it a part of its duty to work out an elaborate system 
adapted to every part of India and to the varying circums- 
tances, but that you would be quite prepared dispassionately 
to consider any proposals that might be made for meeting 
the various difficulties ?— I am sure the Society would 
gladly consider any proposal of that kind which might be 
made by the Commission after obtaining fuller evidence 
than it has been possible for us i^o obtain in England. 

2531. You consider that the elaborate details of any 
system ought to be worked out by the responsible Govern- 
ment and not by a voluntary Society ? — That is my view. 

2532. (]l£r. Pease.) Is it not a fact that at one tim^ the 
duty from Native States was Rs. 700 per chest P — Yes. 

2533. And that duty was reduced to encourage the Native 
States to increase the quantity of opium produced ? — I 
think that would be overstating the case. It was reduced 
because, as lundeistand, it was found that the duty of 



Rs. 700 was likely to kill out the trade. It was only at Mr. J. d. 
Us. 700 for a short time ; it was then reduced to Rs. 650, llexander, 
because Government despatches said they found that Ks. 700 LL B. 

was more than the trade would bear. Two or three rears ■ 

ago there was a petition of the Ijombay merchants, and the "^ ^"^- ^^^^' 
duty was reduced to Rs. 600, because the merchants stated 
that it was no longer a remunerative trade. 

2534. _( Chairman.) We will now proceed to put questions 
to you with reference to the ninth paragraph, in which you 
deal with the o«oise system. You there express a belief that 
" there is evidence that griive dissatisfaction is felt in India 
"at the facilities otteied by the existing system for the sale 
" of these drugs." You cite the practice at home nnd.T our 
latest leiiislation, and you propose that the fundamental 
and underlying principles which have been accepted in 
England should be extended to British India. I think in 
oro^s-examination you have already made a very full state- 
ment upon that subject, and perhaps you have little more to 
say with reference to the excise system in India. — There 
are just two points at the commencement that 1 have not 
yet dealt with. One is as regards other narcotic drugs. 1 
should like to explain to y(m how we were led to take up 
this question in India. Our Society was formed for the 
purpose of putting a stop to the opium trade between India 
aud China, and if you refer to Mr Storrs Turner's Prize 
Essay, which 1 handed to the members of tbe Commission, 
and put in evidence, you will see that he speaks with sntis- 
factiou withregard to the measures adopted by the Indian 
Government to protect its O'vn subjects against the evilsof 
opium. In a note subsequently written he refers to facts 
which had ju^t come under his observation with regard to 
Burma, as showing that that satisfaction could not be ex- 
tended to Burma, though he thought it applied to India 
generally. It is only within the last four or five years 
that our attention has been called to a number of slalements 
which seemed to us to deserve consideration and enquiry, — 
that in several parts of India the use of opium was greatly 
extending, and that great evils were arising from it. It 
was <m that ground that we for the first tin)e took up the 
question as regards India in our memorial to Lord Cross, 
■which is printed in the Blue Hook " (Jonsnmption of Op'ura 
"in India." In that memorial we included other narcotic 
drugs, owing to the evils arising from the sale of hemp drugs. 
That branch of the question has sini^e been dealt with by the 
Society I just now referred to,— tbe Anglo-Indian Temperance 
Society, of which Mr. Cane is Honorary Secretary, so that 
it has passed out of our liands. With regard to India, I 
have stated that we have had various evidences from India 
that there is a desire cm the part of at least a veiy consider- 
able section of the Indian people that protection such as is 
given to our own people at home by our Pharmacy .'\ct 
should be extended to India. We have had during the last 
two winters visits from India .Miss Soonderbai Powar has 
addressed a large number of meetings, and has represented 
a Very strong feeling auiongst the zenanas on the part of 
the women in her part of India desiring snppre-sion. You 
will, I hope, hear her evidence at Bombay or Poona.« 
Then .Mr. R^ijn Naidn came from Madras, representing 
a similar fe.ding there. I have a brief list of the 
public meetings before me. A great representative 
public meeting was held at Bombay in April 1891, on 
the eve of Sir Joseph Pease's motiim, presided over by 
the Bishop of Bombav. It was an enthusiastic gathering, 
and adopted a memorial in support of his motion, the result 
of whic'n w.is telegraphed to bun in time for him to read it 
to the House of Commons. A few days after, a great public 
meeting was held at Dacca, which I also heard Was a most 
enthusiistic meeting, where all classes of native opinion 
and the opinions of influential native gentlemen were 
represented. Then there were several other meetings. At 
Madras, Bombay, and Poena great public meetings were 
held, which were attended by the leading Native gentlemen 
of the place. There was a remarkable petition from 227 
opium drunkards at Bombay, begging that the dens might 
be closed, and that they might be protected from the 
habit. 

2535. [Sir William RoherU.) Was the object of these 
meetings with reference to opium-smoking or with reference 
to opium-eating ? — I do not know that the distinction was 
clearly made : it may have been in some cases, but I think not 
generally. I think one may say generally that at all ihese 
meetings, and in the petitions froui India, that opium-smok- 
ing has been put to the front as being the most serious form 
of the vice, but that opinm-eating has also been included in 
the condemnation and in the prayer for [irotection. Then 
there were two memorials — one signed by 20,000 persons 
in India, and another later on (this was in January 1892) 
with 22,000 signatures; and there was a great Tamil 
petition in March 1892 with 40,000 signatures. Some 
of these, I am afraid, do not appear in the Parliamentary 

E 



54, 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION ' 



Mr. J. (?. Records, simply because the sisnatures have been in 

Alexander, Tami], or some othi-i- language, and I understand the 

iX^S. practice in the Petitions Ollioa in the House ol' Commons 

21 Nov 1893. '^ ^^^^ ^^''^' ^"^°^y P^^'' OVT petition^ which they are uniihle 

' ■ to rend, because they aie not written in Knglisli. There 

have also bet-n public mpelings at Jubbulpore, Agra, Shola- 

pore, and at Igatpuri and Thana, both near Bombay. Then 

there was anotlier meetin;.' at Madras, and one or two other 

meetini;s h\ different parts of Hombay. Besides tliose 

there have been a cnnHidorablennmlierof meetinfrs connected 

with Missionary Conferences, meetings of the iMissiomiries 

and the Native Chiistians, which have unanimously adopted 

resolutions. Some were hir^e meetings, aud others were 

meetings of pariiuular bodies. 

2536. Were those resolutions which were passed resolu- 
tions directed against the ut-e of opium or afisinst the 
public houses, or divans or dens in which opium is used p — 
I tliink against the sale of opium : that was alwajs the 
objective of the petitions. 

2537. {Chnirman.) Have you anything furtherto say upon 
pardgraph 9 ? — 1 think there is one more point. I should 
lilte to refer to the closing words of tlie paragraph: 
"whose remuneration in no degree depends on the amount 
" of their sales. " In that item I admit, thiit we i;o beyond 
the principles which are in (brce under the Pharmacy Act 
in Englnnd, but then tlie conditions of India and Eni;land 
are very different. No one would suppose that chemists in 
England would be likely to be tempteii to betray their trust 
I'y reason of the profit they would make on the sale of the 
poisons. Publ c opinion is too strong,', and that is, after all, 
the real guarantee of our laws in England. A chemist who 
carelessly s. 'Id a large dose of opium with the result that 
fatal consequences endued, would be brought before a Coro- 
ner's inquest and would be gravely reprimanded. 

2538. (Sir Jumes LyalL) Fatal cimsequences do not occur 
every day P — No, but a case of that kind would bring a drug- 
gist in England under the grave censure of public opinion. 
Thiit, I think, is the real sanction of the law at home. But 
in India it seems to nie to be a very impiTtant principle to 
lay down that those who sell should not be remunerated in 
propoitiou to the amount of their sales. I look npon it 
as the essential vice of the licensing system in force in 
India, with regard to opium, to hemp druj;s, and to alcoliol, 
that it so s:rongly gives to the licensee a direct interest in 
his increiisin^ liis sales. The Indian farming syslem is 
based upon the old system familiar to readers of the New 
Testament as that of ttie Publicans in the Roman Empire. 
The tax-gatherers gathered tlie taxes very much on their 
own Mccount, and were responsible to the Govemmetit for 
paying in a certain quota. Something of that kind is still 
the principle of tlie fiirminu; out of licenses in India. It 
seems to me that that principle is riulicallv objectionable, 
and that, whatever liieans are adopted for the betier lepres- 
siou of the use of opium and the^e other dangerous articles, 
we should altogether steer clear of that wioug principle. 

2539. What wrougprincipleP — The principle of farming 
out the licenses, 

2540. {Sir William Scherts.) I should like to ask you 
whether that does not. exclude the condemnation of the 
Gothenburg system whicli is in favour in some quarters iu 
England p— On thecontrary, I understand th^t the (Gothen- 
burg .systpTU is l)ased npon that very principle; that under 
the (jothenburg system in Norway and Sweden the licensees 
have no interest iu promotini.' the sale of spirituous liquors, 
and that is exactly what the supporters of that system 
urge as being the basis of its success. 

2511. I s\ippose you are aware that the mimioipnlities 
get the profits of ihe business?— Yes, but not the vendors. 
That is the point ; that the vendor has uo interest iu extend- 
ing the sales. 

2542. (S'ifJames Lpall.) You object very strongly to the 
farmin>r system, that is, the system of giving the shop in 
which to sell opium, or anything else, to the man who bids 
highest for it ?— Yes. 

2543. The other system is to make over the opium at a 
very liigh price to the man who pays a mere licensins fee for 
it. ."-'ay, you iTiake over the crude opium to a licensed vendor, 
and you charge, perhaps, |{s. 20 a seer, a very high (irice : 
yon make it over to the licensed vendor, who only pays, 
perhaps, a fixed fee for it, and he has to sell it. Tou are 
aware what the great objection to that system, as compared 
with the other system of giving him opium at alow price and 
making him pay a high fee for his license is p — That was not 
the alteruative 1 had in my mind, or the alternative I should 
suggest. 



2544. Ai'e you aware of the reason why it is done m 
India ? — I suppose it is the same reason which 1 think you 
have already stated for the minimum guaianlee clause. 

2545. That is, if you depend upon giving Government 
opium to a man at a high price, it becomes at once his 
interest not to take the liovernment opium, bnt, whetefer 
possible, to take smuggled opium in preference. The evil 
of that is not only that the Government loses revenue, 
by selling less of its opium, but you must remeuiber that we 
have to rely generally in India to a laige extent for check- 
ing smuggling upon the self-interest of the contractors. 
The contractor being a monopolist for a ceriain town or 
a certain tract of country, it is to his interest to stop 
snuigi^ling and inform against smuggling as much as possi- 
ble, if he is dealing with Government opium ; t>ut if he 
himself is himself dealing with illicit opium, or smuggled 
opium, he cannot aiford to inform against other people, for 
the people of the country would soon know that he is 
doing it ; and if lie informs against tlie smugglers, they 
will inform against him. That is the difficulty. It is easy, 
of course, for people in England to find fault with a 
system, but the othcials out here know the natives and 
know the country and know the position of things. They 
have for generations and generations been w.rking up 
these things, aud they know the balance of good and evil 
of the different methods, and that has led thein to decide 
upon what they think best. May I ask what is the system 
you propose ? — I think you are putting to me, if I may 
say so, two vicious systems — two systeuis wliich I shonld 
characterise as both intrinsically bad — and asking me 
which of the two I prefer. 

2516, Give me your reasons why you think one of those 
syste us is better than the other. — Those leasons may be so 
far valid, but you spoke of the expeiience of (jovernment 
officials. May I venture to say that 1 think one of the 
reasons why Government officials are apt to go wrong is that 
it is so ditfcuit for them to go far enough back to root 
principles. You discuss two methods wnioh have been 
applied, to both of which the same objection of principle 
applies : that you are giving an interest in some form or 
another to the vendor. 

2547. How would you avoid giving an interest to the 
vendor p — I should say by selling entirely for Government 
profit. 

2548 . That is, you would give the man a salary and put 
him iu n shop, and say, " you must sell this opium and 



■ account to Government for the whole piotit." 
it ? — I think so. 



Is that 



2549. {Chairma7i.) Tou utterly dislike the sale of opium 
under any system P — Yes. 

2550. But if any other system had been adopted you 
probably would have attacked it P—Piobably ; any system 
that does not aim at restricting opium to medical use. 

2551. (Sir James Li/all.) At present you are putting 
forward an objection to an existing system'and a preference 
for auother system which you describe to be practically this, 
that you give a man opium, put him in a shop, or what- 
ever you choose to call it, and tell him to sell on behalf of 
the Government, and account for the Government money. 

(Chairman.) 1 think the witness would not like to 
make himself respimsible for recommending such a course. 
He wishes to recommend nothing but prohibition, 

255-'. (Sir Jumes Lyall.) He was taking exception to 
the farming system. You would not recommend that svs- 
!v™L^ 1. ° ^?" ^^'"'' '* workable P— No, I was going to say 
that I have been told by the natives of India that there 
are^ already Government oflfioials. Government dispensaries, 
and other places of that kind, established about India am- 
ply sufhoient to supply the demand for opium for 
medical purposes, and that nothing would be easier than to 
make use of those existing facilities for this purpose. That 
is what I have been inf<irmed, both before I came to India 
and smoe I have been iu India. 

2553. Y'ou mentioned in your evidence a, Miss Soonder- 
bai Powar Can you tell me if she is a Christian or a 
Hindu P— A Christian. 

25o4, Educated by missionariesP-Yes, her parents were 
Christians ; she was born in a Christian family. 

2555. I do not know whether you would take her evi- 
deuce seriously as a matter of importance ; do vou put 
any serious weight upon her evidence P-Before she took 
pa.t m any nieetings 1 had informed myself about ber. 
Ihe bist qualified person I know, a missionary, who had 

I ™ ,1H Z^^'-ri-^'"? '" ^""'i^y' ''"'1 whose ^judgment 
I coud thoroughly rely upon, told me that I might certainly 
accept her evidence as genuine. ' 



MINUTES OP EVIDENCE. 



35 



2556. Genuine no doubt, but is she not a young girlP — 
Certainly not. Tou will see her for youiself. 

2557. (Chairman.) Is she coming before us as a wit- 
ness P— Tes, at Bovah ly or at Poona. 

2558. AVe now pass frnm India to Purma. In your 
tenth paragraph you urge that there should be no furtlier 
delay in sanolioning throughout Burma the measuies 
which have been so oavpf ully elaborated by the Chief Com- 
missioner, Sir Alexander Mackenzie. 'H.Ave you any- 
thing to say upon tlie case of Burma in addition to what 
is contained m your general memorial P--I think I may 
very briefly say that there are just two points which we 
have further to urge with regard to iinrm*. In Lower 
Burma there has been established a Register for opium 
consnmprs, and as regards the natives of Burmese race 
no additions are to be made in future to that iteaister. 
That provision does not apply to the Chinese and other non- 
Burmese inliabitiints of Burma. We advocate the exten- 
sion of that ru'e to the Chinese and non-Burmese. Then, 
secondly, that IJcsiister is not in force in Upper Burma, and 
the Excise Report lor Upper Bui ma two or three years ago 
stated that the nominal prohibition that exists of sale to 
Burmans s absolutely inoperative, because the Burmans can 
always obtain as much of the drug as they require under 
cover of the sale to non- Burmese. We therefore urge that 
the Register already in Ibree in Lower Burma should be ex- 
tended to Upper Burma as well. Those are the two points 
we are now urging with regard to Burma. 

2569.. Is that all tou wish to say as regards Burma P — 
Perhaps I ought to add a reference to our last memori il to 
Lord Kiniberley. I do not know how the matter st.mds 
now. For all I know the subject may have been finally 
dealt with ; but I should like to put in our memorial 
which was based on a t'^legram which appeared in the 
Times to the eflect that the Chinese and non-Burmans 
were not to be registered at all. That was not, part of the 
original rule* as drafted by the Burma Government ; 
and we very strongly objected to that. The Times telegram 
said: "This alteration will materially increase the ditiicul- 
ties of the policy of suppression, which are already almost in- 
superable." We uieuiorialised Lord Kimberley in the hope 
that the modification which the Times telegrams stated to 
have been introduced by the Government of India, should 
not be insisted upon, i do not quite know what the pre- 
sent position of the mitteris. No doubt the Commission 
will have before it distinct evidence as to the rules which 
have been finally approved and passed. 

2560. Now we come to the Punjab. In paragraph 11 yon 
urge that the Punjab sy>tem of licensing the eiillivation 
of the poppv should be at once put an end to, and you 
further urge in support of that recommendation that " the 
" prohibition of poppy cnltuie bus been already enforced 
" by the Indian Government in 1799 as regards Lower 
" Bengal and Orissa, as well as throughout Southern 
" India, about 1860 in Assam, and at other dates else- 
" where." You further say," we are assured by compeient 
" witnesses that the Sikh people .would generally welcome 
" the adoption by Government of measures which would 
" enable them to rid themselves ot_ a habit which they 
" recognize to be a debasing and injurious one " Have 
you anything to put before us in support of that pray- 
er, and those refer.mces to the opinion and feeling of 
the Sikh people p— I have nothing special to say on that, 
in view of the fact that the Commission will no doubt visit 
the Punjab and enquire for itself the opinion of the Sikh 
people. The Commission will get very much better inform- 
ation there.than we were able to obtain in London, 

2561. That is no doubt the case. The Punjab question 
wiU be much better examined when on the spot than 
here. Now we turn to the 12th paragraph. In that 
paragraph you refer to the possible financial objections to 
the policy of prohibition which you recommend, and you 
state as a matter of opini.m that the people of England 
would be ready to msike up any defiaiency which might 
arise from the proh.bition of the export trade in opium. 
At the same time you nigethat much can be done to meet 
the loss from the opium revenue by greater economy and by 
the development of Indian resources, and you are also of 
opinion that if there were loss from the abolition of the cul- 
tivation of the poppy, there would be a gain to the people of 
India from the cultivation of other productions and the 
general development of the soil. It is obvious what your 
views are; but have vou anything to say upon that P— I 
do not think I need occupy the time of the Commission on 
this paragi-aph, because mv views are so fully embodied 
in the little pamphlet I have already laid before the Com- 
mission entitled " Substitutes for the Opium Revenue. 



(Chairman.) We have carefully read it, and we re- Mr. J. Q. 
cognise the ability with which the pamphlet has been prepar- Alexander, 
ed. ZL.S. 

2562. (Mr. Mowhray.) You state here that you believe the 21 Nov 1898. 

people of England will be ready to m.ike up the deficiencies. L_ 

Would you mind telling us exaiitly what Lord Kimberley 

said to the deputation in reply to that paragraph P — I was 
anxious to speak upon that point. 

2563. I think it is important that there should be no 
doubt about itP — After quoting that passage of our 
memorial, Ijord Kimberley says : " That you regard 
" as n very important declarati(m ; but I am bound to 
" say that I have nut the slightest reason to supnose 
" that there will be any disposition on the part of the 
" Treasury to place a heavy burden upoci the tax-pajeis of 
" this country for the purpose indicated. I do not think that 
" there is any warrant for that. I am speaking as the Minis- 
" ter responsible for India now; and I do not think that 
" such a proposition to the Treasurv, no matter what the 
" Government in power, would be likely to meet with a 
" favourable response. The sum will be very large, not only 
" to compensate the Indian Treasury, but also to compensate 
" tho<e who produce the opium, and also the native princes, 
" who derive considerable sums Ibim the growth of opium." 
I do not know whether I had better go on further. 

2584. That is all I want. I also notice that the only one 
of your Vice-Presidents who is in the House of Commons, 
who signs this memorial to Lord Kimberley, distinctly de- 
clines to pledge himself to that particular paragraph of the 
memorial. — Thut is so. Sir Mark Stewart frankly said 
he could not agree with that stntement. I should like to 
give my reasons iu support of that statement. 

2565. Can you tell us upon what that particular para- 
graph in the memorial was based P — First of all let me 
speak as regards our own Society. We have made this a 
part of our prou'ramme definitely ever since the year 1886. I 
put before the Commission tl e" Statement of Facts and Prin- 
ciples " adoiited at the beginning of that year. I was at that 
time a member of the Executive Committee, and I took part 
in the Conference at which that Statement was drawn up. We 
had a debate upon this pariicnlar point. The lale Mr. 
Chessou very stroigly urged that it was right and reason- 
able towards India that we should express ourselves dis- 
tinctly on the question. I remember that I supported him, 
and that the paragraph to that eff^'Ct was carried. I have 
mentioned in the preface to " Substitutes for the Opium 
"Revenue" that the same view was even more solemnly re- 
affirmed in 1891. shortly after the debate in Parliament, at 
onr annual meeting. A Cmiferenoe of members and 
friends of the Society was held, and in the evening a public 
meeting was held which confirmed the dt-oisions of that 
Confereuce. I thiuk I might read that resolution : — 

"This Conference of members and supporters of the 
Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade hereby de- 
clares that, in advocating the aboliiion of the Indian opium 
trade as a measure of national morality, it is stmngly 
opposed to the imposition on the people of India of any 
oppressive taxation. Whilst urging upon the Givernment 
of India its obligation to effect such retrenchment of need- 
less expenditure and to carry out such measures for the 
development of Indian resources as may enable it to gov- 
ern India etficiently without imposing any permanent or 
long-continued burden on the ta.x-p lyers of the United 
Kingdom, this meetinof is in favour of such temporary 
pecuniary assistance being L'iven by this country to the 
Indian Governnent as may be found requisite to enable 
India to bear the loss of the opium revenue, without adding 
to the burdens at present resting upon the people of that 
country." 

I may mention in passing that the phrase " temporary 
pecuniary assistance " was commented upon by .Mr. Glad- 
stone in the late debate as being somewhat ambinuous. 
Our meaning was very clear. Certainly we have always 
attached to it the meaning of a grant and not a loan. 
Mr. Gladstone seemed to think that it might be a tempor- 
ary loan to be repaid. 

2566. {Sir James Lyall.) You mean a temporary grant P 
— What I mean is developed laleron in " Substilutes for 
"the Opium Rei'enue" : a grant spreading over a period of 
years ; but a giant, not a loan. Mr. Gladstone threw 
out a suggestion that the words in Sir Joseph Pease's 
resolution might mean a loan to be repaid. 

2567. (Chairman.) He contemplated the continsency that 
that loan mi-ht not be repiid. That supplied a leading ar- 
gument for his speech?— Yes ; I only wished to clear that 
up. 

E2 



36 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSIONf 



Mr. J, G 2568. (Sir Jamet Lyall.) In any case a ^raut would be 

Alexander, temporary. 'I'hu loss would be pBrm.Liient, and the grant 

LL.B. would be temporary, would it not ? — Yes. We take tlie view 

"~ — that, India ought to be able to pav for its own goveinmeiit 

18 93. without reliance upon an immoral trade, and that therefore 

it is only a question of a few years to adjust the needs of the 

Government of India to the exigencies of morality. 

2569. (Mr. Mowbray.) I am sure you will understand 
that I do not doubt fur a moment that the Anti- 
Opium Society had expressed that wish. But I wish 
to illustriite that it had not been endo^^ed by the 
responsible Minister.— I quite understand your object. 
I should furthei- like to say that that part of our pro- 
gramme has very frequently been put before the public 
in Kngland. I have already spoken of enthusiastic public 
meetings which we have held, during the last three or four 
years especially. Almost always when I have taken part 
in those meetings I have made this one of the speuial 
points,— that India could not reasonably be expecteil to 
bear the loss of giving up the China trade. I may say that 
over and over again I have been pleased to find that that 
sentiment was most cordially taken up by the meeting: that 
England, which two generations ago paid twenty millions 
sterling for the emancipiition of the slaves, should not hesi- 
tate to come to the help of India, and make some 
grant for the purpose of putting an end to this im- 
moral trade without undue pressure on the tax-payers of 
India. I should like to narrate what occurred at one par- 
ticular meeting, at which 1 was not present, but of which I 
read the reports and had them supplemented by those who 
were preseirt. At that meeting this point was specially 
raised. It was a meeting held at Norwich. One of the 
members for Nonvich, Mr. Colman, has for many years 
been a staunch supporter of our S,)ciety. The other mem- 
ber, Mr. Hoare (who had been asked to take part iu the 
meeting), wrote a letter to the Chairman in which he 
drew attention to this phase of the question, express- 
ing a doubt whether the British people would be willing 
to have an addition to the income-tax or in some other 
way to bear the ad<litional taxation in order to get rid of 
the trade. The point was taken up in speeches by two of 
Mr. Hoare's strongest supporters, I believe, two clergymen 
of the Church of England, who expressed themselves in 
very strong terms upon ic. It was put into tlie resolution 
of the meeting, and, I was told, was most enthusiastically 
adopted. In face of this letter from Mr Hoare, the meeting 
expressed its conviction that the Briti.sh people would not 
hesitate to incur such a sacrifice in order to put down the 
opium traffic with China. I give that as one particular in- 
stance of a great many meetings at which the same point 
has been raised. 

2.570. (Mr. Wilson.) You have given us cases of these 
meetings which, of course, would usually be attended by those 
who were more or less predisposed to favour anti-opium 
views. Have you any means whatever of suggesting any- 
thing to ns, as to how it would be received by the general bulk 
of the voters and tax-payers, or of any tendency in English 
public opinion that would lead you to believe that it would 
be so accepted? — I do not know that I can say anything be- 
yond this, — that these mee'-ings are by no means exclusively 
con^posed of those who already liave an interest in the 
opium question. During the last two years we have had 
the presence at our meetings of these deputations from 
India. The winter before last we had a Chinese gentleman 
from Australia. The presence of these people has at- 
t raited a very large number of persons who were not 
previously informed on the question, but who came to listen 
to what was said, and they have been very enthusiastic 
in supporting us. I do not think our meetings have 
lieen by any means confined to those who are interested in 
the anti-opium question. 

257). Would the general tendency of English people 
with refer-nce to the moral and social questions lead you 
to take a horeful view of what the average voters and tax- 
payers would say upon this question ?— Certainly. Of course, 
very gr<at power now rests with the working classes ; and I 
think it has been especially amongst the working classes 
that we have received response to that sentiment. It is the 
richer people, who can aflford it better, who have been more 
inelined to demur to tlie idea of increased taxation. 

2572. (Sir James Lyall.) You say at the end of the para- 
graph that " the stoppage of the trade in opium with China 
would probably give a powerful stimulus to the export of 
other Indian produce to that country." I want to ask 
whether you do not think it is the case, that if China took 
other exports in the place of opium, it would, as Mr. David 
McLaren, ex-President of the Chamber of Commerce in 
Bdinbnigh, seems to hope, rather take them from Kngland 
th^n from India? — I think it would benefit both countries 



in tiiat way. I tnink ihat probably the Indian trade with 
Chin.i would be increased, and liie British trade with 
China would be still more increased. 

2573. At the end of the paragraph you refer to the lofs 
of India by exchange, and you sav you think that the 
stoppage of the trade in opium with China would be likelv 
to diminish that loss. Do you still adhere to that opinion ? 
-Yes. 

2574. Can you explain on what ground p— On the ground 
that the opium trade with China causes a very abnormal 
state of things, viz., that tlie balance of trade between 
India and China is very largely adjusted by means of 
actual specie payments. At page 25 of "Substitutes f>:r the 
" Opium Revenue " will be seen the figures showing the net 
importation of silver,— putting aside gold. The net im- 
ports of silver from China (Hong-Kong and Treaty Forts) 
to India, after deducting exports to China from India, 
amount to an average of over one and-a-half millions 
a year. In 1S90-91, the net imports amounted to 
Rx. 3,545, 518, from Cidna to Indiain silver in order to adjust 
the trade. With regard to that, Mr. Hanbury obtained 
specific information from a banker in London, engaged in 
the Eastern trade, that that heavy drain in that year very 
materially and manifestly affected the value of the rupee, 
sending it down con.^iderably. In that year there had to 
be such a large import of silver from China and from the 
f-traits in order to pay for Iiidian opium that the Indian 
Government, I think, lost by the depreciation of the rupee 
from that cause at least half its real net gain from opium. 

2575. You know that India annually owes a balance to 
England?— Yes. 

2576. And she meets that balancein a large part by trans- 
ferring the debt which China owes to her for opium ?— 
Yes. 

2577. That being the case, how could the stoppage of that 
trade improve the dilfioultv of exchange between Kno-land 
and India, which is the difiicultv we are talking about? — 
We minimize this drain of silver. The drain of silver 
would have to bo very much greater than in fact it is on 
the average if it were not for that circumstance. 

2578. We are talking of loss to India by exchange. 
How can the loss of a method by which India settles part 
of her debt to Kngland get rid of the difficulty of tlie loss 
by exchange ? — ^It may be that there would he some counter- 
acting infiuence of the kind in conneetion with the balance 
of exchange, but I do not think that that sets aside or can 
counterbalance the natural depression of the exchange which 
must result fiom this great inflow of silver from China to 
India. 

(Sir James Lyall.) I am not an expert like Sir 
David Barbour : but I agree with him in not being able to 
understand y our argument. 

2579. (Chairman.) In so far as the balance of trade be- 
tween India and China fails to be adjusted by bills of ex- 
change, and is adjusted by exportation of silver from China 
to India, to that extent you say there is an influence tending 
to depreciate the value of silver in India?— Yes; and ) 
would point out further in reference to what Sir James 
Lyall put to me, that if the poppy were not grown, there 
would be a greater cultivation of cereals and other products. 
You must not assume that the whole value of the opium 
crop would disappear. There would be some considerable 
value to be put in its place by some substituted crop. That 
is a question I have not gone into ; hut I think I ought to 
say one word with regard to the estimate of the total value 
to India of the poppy crop which was put before the Commis- 
sion by Sir John Strachey, and which is embodied in Mr. 
Batten's paper in the Society of Arts Journal. I think it 
was suggested to Sir JohnStrachey by Mr. Pease at tlie time 
that that is palpably and obviously a grossly exaggerated 
statement, because it proceeds on the assumption that if 
there were no poppy crop the land would be absolutely un- 
productive. 

2580. (Mr. Pease.) And the labour p— And the labour. 

2581. (Chairman.) We will not detain you upon this 
point. You would, of course, admit that if the export of 
opium to China from India ceased, and India failed to 
create another export trade with China of equal value, that 
India's position as regards the rate of exchange would be 
prejudicially affected?— I suppose it would to some extent, 

2582. Now we turn to the last point with which I think 
you wish to deal, viz., the monthly auction sales of opium in 
Calcutta. In your 13ih paragraph you cite some eminent 
names of Indian Administrators, who have expressed their 
objeotion to the system of the monthly auction sales. You 
refer to Lord Lawrence, Sir Bartle Frere, Sir Herbert 



UlNUTES OF bVlDBKCE, 



37 



KdwHides, Sir Donald Macleod, and Sir William Muir. At 
the same time, you Caiily admit that these eminent ineu, 
while exprt-Bsim; their otjectiou to themnnihly auction sales 
at (Jalcuita, were favourable to the siibstitiition of a system 
in Ben.;;il, similar to that which exists in Bombay Your 
Association, as you have repeatedly tolJ U", condemns both 
systems alike ; but you seem, in reviewing tliese opinions to 
which you refer, to recognise that there is some >;roaud lor 
saying tliat the system which obtains in Hengal, the actual 
auction sales in Calcutta, does more particnlarlyand striliingly 
identil'y the Indian (iovernment, with what yon describe as 
an iaimoral tratho ; and yon urge that the total cessation 
of the sales, whitli are now taking place in Calcutta, could 
not fail to have ihe hap|lie^t results. Is there anything you 
would like to say in development of the views put I'nrward 
in the pai-agrapli to which 1 have referred? — I should like 
to read to the Ccnnmission the statement of Sir Herbert 
Edwardus on that point as putting very strongly and de.irly 
our moral objections ■to the trade and summing up the whole 
case. I am now quoting from The Friend of China, 
June 1886 .— 

" In the ' Memorials of Sir Herbert Bdwardes,' just pub- 
" lished, there is given a paper, written by him after the 
"great Mutiny of 1857, in which he points out what he 
" believes to have been the national sins that drew down that 
"national cbasiisement. After naming our withholding the 
"Bible from the natives, and other failures in Christian 
" principle, he writes : — ' Ninthly, 1 would name the coiinec- 
" tion of the Indian Government with the opium trade. This 
" ' connection is fenced round with arguments nominally 
"' diawn from political economy, such as that tlie monopoly 
" ' causes increase of price to the vicious consumer, andobtains 
"' the largest returns with the smallest outlay of capital. 
" ' But no theories can fief rid of the following serious facts : 
" 'that India g.ows opium for China ; that opiutn is ruining 
" ' the Chinese people ; that wherever grown in India, Govern- 
•' ' ment is an interested party in it ; that in Beniial it is 
" ' actnallv grown for Government and for no one else ; that 
" ' Government advances immense sums of money yearly to 
'"enable the cultivators to grow it, and maintains a large 
"' staffi of officials to collect the produce ; that Government 
" 'sells it to those W'ho import it into China; that the vice of 
" ' opium-smoking is so fatal to the vital :ind moral powers of 
"• individuals, and therefore to the prosperity of a nation, 
'" and has spread such heart-rending misery in China, that 
" ' the Chinese laws forbid its importation ; that English mer- 
" 'chants nevertheless force and smuggle it into China,' " (this 
" 'was written before the legalization)" ' and are not prevented 
" ' from so doing by the Government of England, which has 
" ' formally engaged by treaty to prevent it ;'" (I think, per- 
"'haps, there he has somewhat overstated the case) '" that 
" ' all this was known to the Indian Government while grow- 
"'ing opium or organizing its cultivation, and selling it to 
" ' merchants who cannot legally get rid of it ;_ that the very 
" ' Chinese people, maddened with their own vice and misery, 
" ' and inability to force us by arms to observe their laws and 
" ' our own treaties, curse us openly for bringing this des- 
" ' troying poison to their shores ; and lastly, that exactly in 
" ' proportion as opium-ruin spreads in China, so the opinm- 
" 'revenue of the Indian Government is increased. An hon- 
" ' est, manly conscience cannot get over these facts. It will 
" ' not be misled bv a phrase chipped off from the only sound 
"'political economy; the common benefit of the human 
'" race, no matter in what country scattered. It will fasten 
" ' instinctively on the truth that with the Indian Govern- 
" ' ment this is a question of revenue ; and in presence of the 
" ' calamities of 1857, it will conclude that revenue such as 
"' this does not come to much good in the end. It will 
" ' remember all the plausible excuses that were made for 
" ' Neo-ro slavery, and it will urge the nation which abolish- 
" 'ed man-selling in the West Indies to abolish man-poison- 
" ' ing in the East, let the cost be what it will.' " Taking 
that as a true description of the trade, and of our objections 
t9 it, I think it will be clciirly seen that a proposal merely 
to put that trade into private hands, and to derive a revenue 
from it, whilst still continuing it by means of an excise or 
license duty instead of by uieansof monopoly, is a wholly 
inadequate remedy, and does not meet the true moral objec- 
tions to the trade. 

2583. (Mr. Wilson.') Can you tell me who Sir Herbert 
Edwardes is, and what he knows about it? — lie was a dis- 
tinguished Indian soldier and administrator, 1 believe. 
I am afraid my knowledge of his career is not very great. 

2584. (Chairman.) What is the date of this?— At the 
time of the Mutiny. He died some yeais afterwards. What 
I have resid was written shortly after the Mutiny. 

2585. {Sir Jamen Lyall.) With reference to your quota- 
tion from sir Herbert Edwardes' writing about national sins, 
{ire you aware that at that time Sir Herbert Edwardes was 



inclined to be, what most people would think, a bit of a 
fanatic : that he included in national sins our toleration 
of the old endowments of Hindu temples and Mahome- 
dan mosqi es : he wanted to sweep them all away P- I 
am aware that mural refonneri, who are in advance of 
their age, are generally considered fanatics, 

2586. (Chairman^ The concluding paragraph of your me- 
morial deals with China. You have had the opportunity of 
giving us your views with regard to ''hina, and I take it 
that you have not much to say upon this paragraph. I 
understand, however, that you wish to call particular atten- 
tion to the observations whhh you quote of Dr. Griffith 
John of the London Missionary Soi-iety ? — Perhaps I had 
better read those observations. 1 will read the latter part 
of our quotation from Dr. John, who is very well known 
in the missionary world, as one of the most experienced and 
able of all the missionaries labouring in China. He says : — 
"But have the Chinese the ability to put down vice ? As 
" long as the Indian trade in opium exists, the hands of the 
" Chinese Government are tied and paralyzed. 'I hey can 
"simply do nothing, but allow things to go on from bad to 
"Wcu'So. Their best efforts, however sincere and eneigetic, 
" would prove abortive. If the Indian trade in the drug 
"were abardoned, the Chinese would, I firmly believe, make 
" an honest effort to stop the native growth, and the at- 
" tempt would eventuate at once in a diminution of the evil. 
"It might eventuate ultimately in its complete sujipression." 
I think in expressing tliose views in a careful, guarded 
form, Dr John agrees with some of the mo.st weighty evi- 
dence given before the Commission ia London by other 
experienced Chinese missionaries. Mr. Hudson Taylor, I 
remember, especially, spoke to the same effect — that he 
did not feel able absolutely to prophesy what the 
Chin-'se Government would do, but that he was clear that as 
long as the import from India goes on under s^mction 
of the Treaty of 1858, so long the Chinese Government 
is helpless to deal with what it certainly recognizes 
as being a great national evil. Dr. Griffith John con- 
cludes with these words — " But whether the Chinese Gov- 
" ernment can put down the native growth or not, our path 
" as a Christian nation is plain enough. It is for us to wash 
'• our hands clean of the iniquity. The trade is immoral, and 
"afoul b!ot on England's escutcheon, It is a disgrace to 
" ourselves as a people, and unworthy of the place which we 
" hold among the nations of the earth." I do not vrish my- 
self to speak too confidently of what will happen in China 
and of how soon, or how quickly, or how effectually the 
Chinese Government may be able to put down this vice, 
which has obtained so great a hold of its people. The posi- 
tion of our Society is this, that however that may be, it is 
not for us to wait for the Chinese Government, hampered 
and fettered as it is, to take action, but that we ourselves 
should recognise that the trade is an immoral one, and that* 
we should begin by wiping our hands of it. Then we 
should be free to exercise all the right diplomatic pressure 
that we could, to help China to free herself from that evil. 
In connection with that, I may say that I have been longer 
a member of the Committee of the Anti-Slavery Society than 
of the Anti-Hpium Society ; and it seems to me that there is 
a very clear precedent for British action, of that kind in the 
part we took with regard to the slave trade. When we had 
abolished the slave trade ourselves, we proceeded to use all our 
influence diplomatically with the other nations of Europe, in 
order to get the trade put down in other nations as well. I 
hope we shall do the same with regard to the opium trade. 
Having washed our own hands of it, we can (hen right- 
ly and properly help China to deal with this great evil, 
which has grown up in her midst, and for the growth of 
which wenationally haveso graveand seiiousarespoTisibility. 

2586. {Sir James Lyall.) Have you considered the fact 
that the monopoly and the trade and revenue derived from it, 
is all Indian, and that the Indian people are primarily in- 
terested in it, and that the sentiments to which you appeal 
are English ; I mean that the object of putting the 
English name right in the eyes of the Chinese, and 
facilitating the conversion of the Chine.se to Christianity is 
an English object — have you cOTisidered that ? — Yes, I have. 
I think I cannot answer that better than in the words of Sir 
Edward Fry. Sir Edward Pry wrote three Essays on 
the opium question which appeared originally in the 
Ojntemjiorary Review, 1876-7-8. The fir.st and, perhaps, 
the second were written when he was Mr. Fry, Q.C.. and 
the last one or two after he had been made a Judge 
He deals with that argument thus:— "An argument against 
" interfering with the opium revenue, somewhat to the 
" following effect, is often urged or sugtrested : 'It ia very 
" ' well,' it is paid, ' for you to assume this high moral tone 
" 'about the opinm revenue ; the revenue is not yours, but 
" ' belongs to India, and with it England has nothing to do, 
"' To abolish the traffic is to throp- some nine millions, (the 



Mr. J. Gf. 

Alexander, 

LL B. 

21 Nov. 1893. 



38 



INDIAN OPIDM COMMISSION! 



Jir.J. a. 
Alexander, 
LL.B. 

21 Nov. 1893, 



' amount was then much greater than it is now) more of 
annual tixiition on the ah-eridy over-taxed popiihitiim of 
'"India, and that for a scruple of some weak-minded 
'"pliilanthripists in Eni^land. Pray, pay for your own 
"' philanthropy, anl do not make another country pay for it.' 
"Let US consider this objection a little ; and let us note, in 
" the first place, that it may be taken to concede the justness 
" of the objection to the revenue; it only objecis to the 
"person of the objector." Here is the answer— " India is, 
'• as it were, a minor, nnder the guardianaliip of England, 
" and Enijland is a trustee for India in the administration 
" of Indian affaira. But, in taking upon ourselves that 
" burden and that duty, we have incurred no oblii;ation 
"to do for India what we mij^ht not lawfully do for 
"ourselves. If, in the course of our trusteeship we have sold 
"a poison wickedly for the gain of a minor, are we bound 
"tocoiitinue so to do? Have we lost therishtof repen- 
" tance bee luse our sin enures to some one else's benefit P 
" India cannot cbanj;e the policy, for she is in tutel i^e ; 
"England cinnot cliange the policy, for she is a trustee; 
" therefore the sin must go ou^or ever. Is that sound 
"reasoninjrP " 

2588. \Sir William Rnberts.) May I ask if your Society 
takes the same attitude with regard to alcohol as it does with 
regard to opium ? — A good many members of our Society 
are active piohihitionists, but the Society as a whole con- 
sists of men who unite on this opium question, although 
they differ upon all sorts of other questions in politics, in 



religion, and in regard to the temperance question. But 
I think- all would be in favour in some degree of prohibi- 
tion, though I doubt whether all the members of our Society 
would support the policy of the United Kingdom Alliance. 
I really do nut know about that. 

{Chairman.) 'I'hat I believe concludes your evidence. We 
have to thank you for the clear manner in which you have 
put us in possession of the views of the Association which 
you represent, and we recognise the effioifs ihat you have 
personally made in the cause which has commended itself 
to you. Naturally, it has been your duty, entertaining 
the views that you hold, to say many thing -i which are not 
accepted, at any rate by some members of this Commis- 
sion, but I am sure that we shall all feel that what you 
have put before us has been put before us w.th the utmost 
sincerity of purpose, and we all appreciate that in the encoun- 
ter in which you .are engaged with the Government of 
India upon its own gronml, you are placed in circum- 
stances of no ordinary difficulty. 

(Witness.) There is one point that we did not deal with 
in our memorial and which has really come under my 
notice since I came to India. I do not know whether it 
would be desirable that I shoiilil make it in any way part of 
my evidence. It is with regard to the system under which 
the poppy is grown in the Behar district. 

{Ch lirman.) I think it would be appropriate to deal 
with that when we get to that district. 



Adjourued till to-morrow at 10-30. 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Buildings, Calcutta. 



TENTH DAY. 

Wednesday, 22nd November 1893. 



PEESENT : 



The EiaHT HoNoiTBiBLE LORD BBASSEY, K.C.B. (Chaieman, peesidino). 



Sir James B. Ltall, G.C.T.B., K.C.S.I. 
•The Hon'ble Sib Lachhmeswae Sinoh BAHADnE, 
MahabaJa op Daubhanga, E.G. I.E. 
SiE William RoBEtTS, M.D. 
Mb. K. G. C. Mowbeat, M.P. 



Rev. W. B. 
Phillips. 

22 Nov. 1893 



Mb. a. U. Fanshawe. 
„ A. Aeth[.ir Pease. 

Haeidas Vehaeidas Debai. 
„ H. J. Wilson, M.P. 



Mb. J. Peescott Hewett, C.I.E., Secretary, 



The Reverend W. B. Phillip.s called in and examined. 



2.5S9. (C^aij-mon.) Will you explain to us the position 
which you fill and state the leni^th of time you have 
passed in India, and i;enerally explain to us what liave been 
your experiences bearing mi the question which is be ore this 
Comniis.siou ? — 1 fim a Missionary of the London .Mission- 
ary Society. I have had experiences among Hindus and 
Mahomedans of all grades and castes. .1 have been in 
Bengal for eijfhteen yeai-s. Of these fifteen years were 
spent in the District ot Mui-sliidabad, which was fO'merly 
the heail-quarters of the Mahomedan llovernment of Hen- 
gal, and tliree years I have spent in Calcutta. For fifteen 
years I was continually mixing with all cla-ses of Hindus 
and Mahomedans, and for about twelve of those years I 
was itinei'.itiiig during ten months of each year among 
their towns and villau'es. At tiiese times I was conversing 
freely with them in their own language, in their shops and 
houses, and gathering them in crowcis for preaching and 
discussion. Durins: the same fifteen years 1 was President 
of a Society worked by a Committee composed of Hindus, 
Mahomedans, and Lhristiars, and whose sole object was to 
promote abstinence from intoxicating drugs and drinks. 
If I mav be allowed I should like to hand in at tliis stage 
a certain memorial and an account of the Society of which 
I was President for fifteen years. 

2590. In order that it may be placed upon the notes, it 
would be well if you would read what you consiiier the 
more important passages in the memorial, and make any 
observations upon those passages which you think are ne- 
cessary for the elucidation of the subject.— The Society to 



which I refer still continues its work. Its head-quarters 
are at Berhamporo, the civil station of Murshidabad. I 
have visited opium dens where both ohand\i and gooli 
(madak) weie smoked. I was associated for fifteen years 
with the Rev. S, J. Hill, who was lor thirty-seven years 
a Mi?siouary in Murshidabad, and who knew the habits 
and history of the people most intimately. We often con- 
versed about the opium habits of the people. 

2593. Would yon tell us what you observed among the 
ohissesof the population of India among whom you labour- 
ed with reference to the habit of opinni-iating and smoking, 
with reference to the degree in which that habit is pre- 
valent among the various classes of the population, men, 
women, and children, and the age at which the habit is 
acquired — if you know anything about that ; and tell tis 
generally what aie your experiences with reference to the 
opium habit and its results p—0|iium-eating is very pre- 
valent among large nunibeis of the Mahomedans. In the 
city of Murshidabiid it is almost univei sal among them; 
probably as many as 90 percent, take it. Many Hindus and 
others also eat opium. The Rev. S. J. Hill told me of 
one Hindu who used to boast to him of being the first of 
his class in Berhampore to begin eating opium. He also 
boasted of having persuaded three hundred to follow his 
example. I have not he:\rd of the drinking of opium in 
the Mursliidabad hisirict. With regard to your question 
as to the different ages, 1 do not think I have anything to 
say about that. 



UINTTTES OF EVIDRNCE. 



39 



2592. Oan you tell ns something as to the motives which 
you think induced people to lorm the habit of smokin" opium 
Also, can y.m tell us anytliin-; as to the power people' 
have of lelmqnishing the habit when ont-e ihey have con- 
tracted it? Can you tell us aoy tiling with rt-gard to what 
has been descrihed to us by some wiinnsses as beinj< a general 
tendency to inerense the dose, and what yon coi"sidei- to be 
the usual results of the habit, whether viewed physically, 
mentally, or moriillyp—Befor.! doing that I should' lilie to 
say another word about a further use of opium, — opium- 
smoking. 

2593. We shall be glad to hear anything yon have to say 
about the opium habit. — Opium-smoUing is carried on to 
•.oonsidtriible extent, [t is carried on iji both its forms. 
The one is called chandn-smoking, and the other gooli- 
Braoking. Chandu is not so largely smolted as gooli. Chandu 
is pure liquefiad opium. It is smoked through a brass 
tube, about 15 inches long. At three inches from one end 
is a diior-handle-like knob, with a wee bole in the centre. 
Over this hole, by means of a skewer, a pilule of ohmdu 
is worked up. '1 his is then applied to a jet of light, and the 
»moker draws hard till it is consumed. Cjouli is, I believe, 
in some parts called " madat ;" but in Murshidabad I 
never heard that term. Gmili means pill or ball, and 
arises from the form in wliich the preparation is used. I 
have watched both the process of prepai-atiun and the smok- 
ing. Guava leaves are fried black, and liquid opium is 
heated. The two are then mixed, formini; a mass, light 
in weight and almost black in colour. Bits ate brnken off 
and rolled into pilules for smoking. From this comes the 
term " gooli." Usually along with the smoking a kind of 
pasty sweetmeat is used, and is said to aid intoxication. 
Chandu is probably smoked mostly in the opium dens, but 
gooli is lar^tely smoiieil at home as well as in the dens. 
When 1 stood watching the sale ol' this prepaiation, many 
came to buy for carrying away home. There it is smoked 
either sinirly or in groups. As to what are the motives 
which induce people til form the habit, I may say that probably 
the majority begin the habit from association with opium- 
eaters and smokers, and without auv deliberate intention. 
Some are led to it from using it medicinally for rheumatism, 
lumbago, dysentery or choleraic pains. One very prevalent, 
and, I fear, the most common re.ison for using opium is as 
an aphrodisiac. In the present morally low condition of 
this couotry the use of aphrodisiacs is very extensive. Both 
men and women amon;; the ilahomedans use opium for this 
purpose. It is quite common for people to recoinmend 
opium for this purpose, it is especially recommended for 
those who have reached the age of forty, or who have 
married wives much youn<;er than themselves. And as no 
Hindu widower can get a new wife above ten or twelve years 
old, the proportion of elJeily men with young wives is very 
considerable. Proslitntes and the frequent»r8 of their 
houses almost invariably use opium as an aphrodisiac. 
Then, as to whether the habit is easily relinquished at once 
or gradually. To relinquish the opium habit seems extreme- 
ly difficult. In my inieicoitr.-c with the people this 
point has impressed me very deeply. I have not yet found 
any exception among them in the fi'-m and openly expressed 
conviction that " no opium consumer can ever yive up the 
" habit." The way the people spoke on this subject led me to 
make much use of the illustration in preaclting amongst 
them. I w?s always sure that my audience would admit it 
as an axiomatic truth. I tried the same illustration again 
anly a few days ago upon a Calcutta audience with the same 
invariable, most marked, and emphatic assent. As a further 
proof of it the following incident came before my notice in a 
striking way just the day after the event. A mnn had 
brought himself and family to become a prey upon his re- 
latives through this 0|)ium habit, lieitig refused money to 
buy the drug and preferring death to the njisery of the 
craving, he hanged himi-elf. In another case a man who 
had owned property adjoining our mission bouse, after 
bringing his family to degradation and death, spent the 
'.ast months of his miserable life haunting opium dens and 
scraping the leavings from opiutn pipes. From what 1 
have heard on this head it seems indisputable that opium 
gains a, terribly powerful hold of its victims. As to 
the general tendency to increase the dose, I think there 
is a general tendency to increase the dose. It needs a larger 
quantity to give equal effect. One result of this is that not 
infrequently opium-eaters take just a little too much and 
lose their lives. This danger was first brought to my 
notice forcibly some years ago. A member of the Nawab 
of Murshidabad's band, a Kurasian, had a wife and two 
ahildren attending our Hindustani service in Berhampore. 
He was an opium-eater. He took an overdose and died, 
and his wife atid family became a burden for years upon 
the European community. Since then I have often heard of 
«uoh cases. One or two such cases are reported almost 



monthly in our Calcutta papers. There was at least one Bev W B 
case reported in September and two in October. And for Fhillip: 

one ease thus reported we may be sure that there are many 

utireported thrmighout Bengal, Behar, and Oris,^a. Then as ^2 Nov. 1893. 

to the results of the liabit phyeicallv, mentally and morally. 

Seienti tic evidence on the phvsicai and moral results of 
opinm-eating and smoking will be j;iven by medical men. 
I shall speak only as an un^cienti tic observer, lor years in 
close contact with the people, d.eply interested in their 
welfare. Physical effects : (1; one of the most noticeable 
is the extreme emaciation that results Irom opium con- 
stimption. It renders many of them peculiarly miserable 
objects to look upon. 

2594 In the case of those who smoke opium, yon are refer- 
ring tothose who stnoke it in excess p— Certainly to those who 
smoke it in excess. Al«o another exception sliould be made 
which is very clearly and forcibly illnslraled in the district 
in wliich I have worl<ed. Tnere is the .lain community, a 
wealthy community in the cities of A?,imguog and Jcagung. 
They are a wealthy community. 'I'hey ate a vegetarian 
community. They partake sienerally of milk and ghee and 
sweetmeats. That seems to counteract the em .ciating effect 
generally. In the city of Murshid.ibad the emaciating 
effect is very marked because such a large peicentage of 
the people are opium victims. lOmaciation can, however, 
be warded off for a long time by the wealthy through the 
large use of milk, ghee, and a liberal diet generally. (2) A 
second physical effect is indolence. Without knowing it 
I once employed an .opium-smoking Hindti cai-penter on the 
Mission boat. He was a young man and understood his 
work very well, but somehow the wink made scarcely any 
progrcjs, and at last I dismissed him in disgust. After- 
wards I saw him in a <;ooli den, and the whole thing was 
explained. Another man of a respectable class and good 
education I watched and conversed with for years. Year 
by yevr he grow thinner and more indolent. I often urged 
him to leave otf opium but to im purpose. He would agree 
with all diatribes asiainst it, but smiled incredulously 
at the idea of giving it up. He used to ask me why our 
Government did not give up tempting the people to become 
opium consumers. In a city like Alui'shidabad, where the 
population is largely IVIahomedan and where such a propor- 
tiim as nearly 90 per cent, use opium, the emaciation and 
indolence produced by the habit are very marked. Hun- 
dreds of times as I have preached among the crowds of 
that city, I have felt most painfully what miserable speci- 
mens of humanity they were. In no othei city or village 
has the superficial aspect of society struck me so painfully. 
And it is in such a city that tlie genuine effects of using « 
opium cau be best discovered. Some years ago I found 
that as a consequence of the indolence and expense attend- 
ing the habit, nearly all the property of the city was drift- 
ing from Atahomedau into Hindu hands. There are 
other physical effects of a serious nat ire arising from 
the exten.sive use of opium as an aphrodisiac. But upon 
these I need not enlarge. It is only too well known 
how grave are the physical consequences of givin>r un- 
natural stimulus to sexual appetites. Mental effects : 
lethargy of intellect as an ultimate consequence seems to 
be the principal mental evil aiising from the use of opium. 
In time it dulls the natural activity of the brain and 
produces a drowsy and listless state of mind. Only once 
have I heard it spoken of in connection with a case of 
hopeless insanity in a young man ; but then it was asso- 
ciated with ganja smoking and Other vices, so that it would 
be hard to sav what share opium had in the result. Moral 
effects : (1) these grobabK arise as indirect results from 
certain direct effects upon physique, mind and purse 
Indolence, strong craving and heavy expense are well 
established facts connected with the use of opium. These 
necessarily tempt all but the wealthy to get money by any 
and every means. Non-payment of debts, lying, cheating 
and stealing are merely the natural outcome of the immense 
strength of these temjitations. Nearly three years ago I 
sold a cow to an opium-eater, and up to the present it does 
not seem to have occurred to him that there is any need to 
pay. The same individual undertook to collect rents. I 
believe he did so, but the landlord has not seen any of them. 
It is also very commonly understood by the people, parti- 
cularly in times of Pooja, that they must be always on the 
watch against those who take opium, because they are 
peculiarly liable to take brass lotas and clothes, and anything 
else they can pick up. (2) But the most serious moral as well 
as physical aspect of this question is the one directly con- 
nected with the use of opium as an aphrodisiac. Anything 
which stimulates the lustful pa-ssionsof men and women must 
ba^e a most disastrous moral effect both upon themselves 
and society. The natural strength of these passions lies 
at the root of some of the greatest moral eviKs of the 
world. The large use of anything therefore that increases 



40 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION '. 



Rev. W. B. 
Phillips. 

22 Nov. 1893 



that natural strength must always be regarded as one of 
the gravest dangers and curses of society. 

2595. Have yon anything to tell us with regard to the 
medical use of opium as a protection against fever or as 
n protection against the debilitating influences of malaria?- — 
On this i^oint, ot course, my evidence is of ii popular, and 
necessarily not very important kind. I may say tbat ihiive 
never heard opium spoken of in our district as being 
used as a protective against fever. I do not believe that it 
is any protective against fever. That is my personal belief. 
Murshidabad is supposed to he a malarious district, hut 

1 never heard the people speak of opium as a protection 
against malarious fever. They speak of quinine : that is 
the great thing that is used, but not opium. 

2596. Do you think that opium enables the working 
people to get tbrough a greater amount ot bodily toil ? — 
Tlie opium-user will say tbat he cannot do without it : but 
there is no general belief in its necessity or value to enable 
peofle to do their work. It is a capital thing to make 
them go to sleep. 

2597. Have you anj'thing to say to us as to your impres- 
sion with regard to tbe view which is generally taken by the 
native community with referenee to the opiuTn habit as 
heing immoral, or in any sense disgraceful P — Opium-smok- 
ing is almost universally regarded as a disgraceful liabit, 
hut opium-eating does not seem to arouse sucb general 
censure. The opiam-ealer does not make himself such au 
object of public knowledge, nor indulge his habit in surh 
filthy dens. Tbe whole surroundings of smokers in gooli 
aud chandu are extremely disgusting ; and the appearance 
of many of them is wretched iu the last degree. 

2598. Turning to the action of tbe Government in relati(ni 
to opinm, have yon any observations to offer, with refer- 
ence to the licensing .system p IJo you consider that the 
existing system tends to the spread of the habit, and do 
you wish to offer any criticisms upon the attitude of the 
Government in relation to the licensing sy.stem ? — -I believe 
that the existing system of licensing is inherently and 
hopelessly vicious, and tends decidedly to spread the 
habit of opium consumption. The sale of licenses by 
auction puts the highest possible pressure upon purchasers 
to push the sale. In some cases sucb pushing is their 
only chance for making a profit, seeing that competi- 
tion at auction has driven them to the very verge of 
gain and close to the abyss of loss. It is a self-acting 
system for giving (iovernment the bigaest returns witfi 
the least tionble. It is the very S3'stem adopted by the 
Romans with their taxes when they cared not a jot what 
happened to the people in the provinces, so long as their 
own coffers were filled easily. It exercises a steiidy 
pressure, acting all alimg the line, to promote increased 
oonsumpticm. No temporary check, through some s\'dden 
new move, stops that steady onward progiess towaids 
larger consumption. This system and its etlects greatly 
weaken the force of all (iovernment assurances as to bene- 
volent intentions. High officials sometimes feel hurt because 
the public do not accent their statements as to the Government 
intentions to restiict the sale of opinm and other things. 
Without in any way reflecting upon the honesty of 
(Jovernment officers, I would yet wish to put in a word 
for tbe public. Take my own case. I have lived for 18 
years in this country, and watched the steady increase oE 
excise revenue; and have all along taken an active 
interest in trying to check the gmwing influence of drugs 
and drinks among the people, I have w.itched the higher 
price given at auction sales for licenses, and reflected 
much upon the inevitable tendency oT the .system to let 
loose upon society a growing number of growmgly greedy 
shopkeepers. As a, result of these 18 years' refli ction and 
experience, I have reached the conclisiin tbat under all 
the circumstances Government cannot reasonaldy expect 
the public to accept such assurances of benevolent intention, 

2599. Do you see any analogy between the granting 

02 licenses for the sale of opium by the Government of 
India and the granting of licenses for the sale of liquor 
by the Government at home? — The Government at hoine 
is disiiuLuished greatly from the Government of Tndi-i by 
its relation to the tralfic in opium The Government at 
home is not responsible for the production of alcohol in 
the way that the Government of India is responsible for 
the production of opium : I hold that the Goveinment 
of England, in de.iliug with the licensing of alcohol, is also 
at present in a very guilty position with retrard to the 
welfare of its subjects: but I do not care to distinguish 
very seriously between the positions of the twotjovern- 
ments. 

2600. Yon think both, from the point of view that you 
take, deserve condemnation p — Yes, 1 do. 



2601. Oo you think it desirable to prohibit the sale 
of opium in this country, except for medical purposes, and 
doyiu think thit the public opinion of tbe people of India 
would favour the adoption of a measure which would 
restrain or prohibit the sale of opium, excepting for 
medical purposes P — I do think it is most desirable that 
the sale of opium should be prohibited in India, except for 
medical purf.oses. As to whether public opinion would 
favour the adoption of this measure, I may say that a 
certain class of superficial patriots, whose loud claim to 
represent public senlimciit I strongly challenge, is just 
now echoing the alarmist cry about revenue and losing 
sight almost entirely of the moral aspects of this question. 
Another taction is composed of opium victims. But 
leavini; out these two classes, I believe that the sound go 'd 
sense of the people at large would heartily support (jovern- 
ment in limiting the sale of opium to medical uses ; and 
tbe best elements of Indian society would gratefully 
welcome sucb action on the part of Goveinment. 

2602. Can you offer any suggestion as to the mode in 
which the loss of revenue to the Indian Goveinment re- 
sulting from such a Course of policy as you recommend 
could by any possibility be metP — 1 would join in 
supporting Ur. Thoburn's suL'gestion of a small tax upon 
tobacco, it is so extensively used,- and is so compara- 
tively harmless, that increase of consumption is not a thing 
to be seriously dre ided. iVloreorer, increase in that direction 
is almost impossible, - the people already take about as 
much as they can. I have long thought of this as a 
source of revenue, but never till lately felt prepared to 
advocate the measure. The Daily Neios of this morning, in 
an article upon Dr. Thoburn's evidence, has this sentence : — 
" Of course, it the Indian revenue continues to be inade- 
" quate, there is no other resource ; it may be necessary to 
" put a tax on tobacco ; but to gratuitously fling away tbe 
" opium revenue, for no reason whatever that anv sane man 
" could accept, in order to put a tax on so innocent a luxury, 
" we had almost written necessary, as tobacco, would be too 
" nion-strous," Now, the very argument which th's writer 
puts forth as to the reason why a tax should not be pat 
upon tobacco is one of tbe strongest reasons in my own mind 
for recommendiui; the tax. After a great deal of refleo- 
tion on this subject, I am coming more and more to this 
conviction, that Governments must tax innocent com- 
modities and that in time they will be forced to it even in 
England. The next move in public opinion is likely to be 
towards local option ; and even tbe Working cksses are 
coming to tee that local option will mean to them shut- 
ting up a large number of public houses: and shutting 
up these public houses will lessen the revenue from 
alcohol, until I believe the time is coming, when Ein^laiid 
will have in alcohol a less gigantic evil to deal with 
than it has at present, and when it will get the courage 
and nobility of character to put its foot down on that 
evil, and say : " We will not carry on our Govern- 
" ment as we have done, so much on the fruits of 
" this most dangeious thing.'' It is, therefore, my stron" 
conviction that Governments should look for their revenue 
to innocent and necessary substances. As it is, the virtuous 
part of the puhlic is compelled to live, as it were, upon 
the vice of the vicious. For my own part I am not 
willing to eat my bread and butter at the expense of 
families that are going down to misery and degradation 
through the use of alcohol or opium, I protest against it. 

2603. You have expressed yourself with great strength 
of feeling with reference to the abuse of alcohol at home. 
It is the case, is it not, that at home the most earnest men 
in the movement for the suppression of the opinm traffic 
in India are connected with the temperance movement at 
home ? — I believe so. 

2604. 'I'he two movements are in a sense inter-depend- 
ant p — 1 believe so. 

2605. Is there anything further that you would like 
to state ? — I should like to say a word upon the present 
sale of opium as encouraging suicide. In 3876, whilst 
teaching in our Ei.glish school at Berhampore, a 
student of the Entrance Class rushed in greatly excited, 
asking for leave to go home as his mother Latl 
taken opium. With great difliculty that life was saved. 
Naturally this ease shocked me very much, but I have 
never till recently turned attention to the great fre- 
quency of such suicides. At the eailyiiartof this year, 
especially, I bejiaii lo remark how often suicides by opium 
appeared in our daily papers, I would respectfully" recom- 
mend that the Commission should have returns of opium 
suicides f(.r one year prepared. I believe that just one 
year's extracts from newspapeis would show a startling 
resul!. On tbe 6th of September last I commenced noting 
them, and continued this until Sepi ember 23rd, During 



MTNUTES OF ISVIDENCB. 



41 



those seventeen days there were five clear cases of suioide 
and three cases of death from overdoses, in which the suicidal 
attempt was not so clear. Of these, two were women, and 
three were young men under 22. Of these latter, two 
were students at college. It is my conviction that if any 
poison should be guarded strictly by Government, because 
of the dangers of its use for suicide, opium is pre-emi- 
nently such a poison. It is of all poisons the one which 
must be naturally the most attractive to a suicide. It 
presents death in its easiest and m<i8t delifchtfnl form to 
one who has reached tliat state of mind. I believe that 
Its free sale does greatly encourage suicide. 

" How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds 
Makes ill deeds done." 

2606. {Sir William Roberts.) You epoke about opium 
being used as an aphrodisiac ; of course you know that there 
are other aphrodisiacs used than this ? — Yes, 1 do know that. 

2607. A great number, are there not P — I believe so. 

2608. Do you think that a pious Hindu or a pious 
Mahomedan would consider himself as actiug immorally 
in taking an aphrodisiac ? — I doubt it. 

2609. What is your impression in regard to the use of 
opium with reference to longevity ? — I have made no re- 
marks upon that question, and I scarcely feel in a position 
rightly to speak on that matter. 

2610. You said that opium-smoking was regarded as 
degrading amongst the people that you laboured with, but 
not opium-eatiug or drinking ? — Yes. 

2611. Have you resided in China ? — I have not. 

2612. I understand that the position you take up is to 
bar all alcoholic liquor and opium but not tobacco ? — Not 
tobacco. 

2613. You are in favour of tobacco ?— I cannot say that 
I am in favour of it, but it seems about as innocent a thing 
as there cau be of that kind. 

2614. Have you ever tried to explain why nations like 
those of Western Europe — Christian nations generally — 
notwithstanfiing their USB of alcohol, are so prosperous as 
compared with other nations that do not use alcohol, or only 
a little ? — I believe the great secret of the prosperity of the 
Western nations is the higher standard of morality gener- 
ally that has resulted from the religion of Christ. 

2615. Then you admit that the use of alcohol in Europe 
has not prevented that influence from operating in a favour- 
able sense ? — Just so. 

2616. But does not that appear to you an odd paradox p 
— No. I think there ma}' be so much good in a nation as to 
enable it to throw off even a great deal of evil without its 
interfering with general progress, particularly in comparison 
with other nations that have perhaps all the evils with 
very little of the correctives. 

2617. It has never struck you that as a possible view 
that, although alcohol does an enormous amount of harm 
to individuals, it may nevertheless do a threat deal of good 
to those who consume it moderately, and thiit the good done 
in that Way may balanne the evil that it does P — 1 am not 
able to take that view, although, if alcohol were universally 
moderately used, I should never be a total abstainer, but I 
feel that the evils are so many and so serious that it oauuot 
be thus treated. 

2618. (Mr. Pease.) You stated that the result of the 
opium habit was to transfer the propertj' in Murshidabad 
from the Mahomedans to the Hindus. Will you explain 
that ? — It happens in this way : the Hindus are less 
under the power of the opium habit, they have therefore 
more money. These Murshidabad people spend so much 
in opium and suffer so much from its degrading influences 
generally that they give a chance to men of wealth to 
buy their property, so the Hindus have practically been 
stepping into their shoes all round in that city, 

2619. You say it is a more prevalent vice with the 
Mahomedans than with the Hindus p — Yes. 

2620. You said you bad observed for some time past an 
increase in the price given for licenses to sell opium. Have 
yon any figures that you can put before us on that sub- 
ject P — I have not. 

(Chairman.) The Secretary says that the Commissioner 
of Excise can furnish official figures on the subject. 

2621. {Mr. Wilson.) You told us that you had a great 
deal of experience in the Murshidabad district until 
recently ?— Yes. 

2622. May we take it generally that ynur evidence re- 
lates especially to the Murshidabad district P — Yes. 



2623. And if there was other evidence from other parts /;,=„. jv. Ji. 
of India, it might not necessarily oouflict with yours p^ Phillips. 
Decidedly. 

22 Nov. 1893. 

2624. I have some vague idea of what the word "Poojah" 

means ; I should like to hear your definition P — It is the 
religious worship of the Hindus. 

2625. At any time P — Yes. 

2626. I thought you spoke of it as relating to some 
partic'ilar season p — The term is applied to regular worship 
and also to special occasions. The special occasions are 
those to which I alluded in my evidence, when large crowds 
of people gather together and the opportunities for selling 
are very numerous. All the pilgrims are warned, in fact 
they know themselves, that they must watch against opium- 
eaters or smokers. 

2627. You spoke of two kinds of smoking— chandu and 
gooli p — There is chandu and madat. Madat, I believe, is 
synonymous with gooli-smoking. 

2628. When you spoke as to how far opium is used 
medicinally, was that from the general impression that you 
gathered from the people themselves, or have you had a 
conversation with the native doctors?— I have not had 
much conversation with the native doctors on that point. 

2629. The impression you have given us is chiefly deriv- 
ed from the people themselves P — From what I have seen 
of their habits. 

2630. Lord Brassey asked you a question about the 
temperance movement and the anti-opium movement in 
England as being inter-dependant, and I understood you 
to say you thought that they were P — If I put it in that 
form it would scarcely represent my views. What I mean 
is tbat as a. rule the enemies of alcohol are the enemies of 
opium, that probably most anti-opiuinists are auti-alcohol- 
ists. 

2631. But if you cau imagine that the anti-opium agita- 
tion completely collapsed in England, do yon think 
it would have any impression on the temperance movement 
iu tbe sense of inter-dependance p — Not the slightest. 

2632. Perhaps you are aware that some prominent mem- 
bers of the i^ nti -Opium Society are nut temperance men at 
all P — I was not fully aware of that fact. 

2633. Perhaps you are not aware that Mr. Donald 
Mathieson and Dr. Lej;ge are neither of them connected 
with the temperance movement iu any way whatever? — 1 
was not aware of that. 

2634. {Mi\ Mowbray.) Can you tell me the proportion of 
the Mahomedan population of Mur.-ihidabad and tbe Hindu 
population ? — I believe in Murshidabad they are nearly 
half-and-half. 

2635. What is the total population ?— 1,250,000 I believe 
by the last Census ; it used to be 1,353,000. 

2636. I may take it then that there are about half a 
million Mahomedans P — About that. 

2637. And you said (hat 90 per cent, were consumers of 
opium ; I suppose you mean of the adult males among the 
Mahomedan population p — I have not made that statement ; 
I have confined my statement to the city o£ Murshidabad, 
not to the district. 

2638. Do I understand that the population of Murshid- 
abad is upwards of a million P— Yes. 

2639. And that practically half of that population is 
Mahomedan, and 90 per cent, of the Mahomedan population 
are consumers of opium? — No; Murshidabad District is 
distinct from Murshidabad City. Murshidabad City is the 
former Capital of Bengal. 

2640. Then you do not mean that the population of the 
city is a million ? — Oh dear, no. 

2641. Would you tell me what it is P — What I have said 
as to the population applies to the district. 

2642. What were yon referring to when you said that 90 
per cent, of the Mahomedan population were consumers of 
opium? — I was then referring to the city of Murshidabad. 

2613. What is the population of tbe city ?— I am not 
perfectly certain, but I believe it is 56,000.* 



» Note.— Mr. Phillips desires to put in the following: figures 
showing the population of the Murshidabad city in 1881 ; — 

Hindus ^c''^'a 

Mahomedans 15,818 

Others 694 



Total 



39,231 



42 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



Rev. W. B. 
PhiUifS, 

22 Nov. 1893 



2644. Is half of that Maliomeclan P— I could not answer 
exactly — more than half I should say— much more than 
half. 

2645. Then is your experience limited to the city or to 
the disti-ict of Murshidabad ? — No, it spreads over the dis- 
trict also. 

2646. And is what you have told us ahout the city of 
Murshidabad good as to the district of Murshidabad? — 
No ; it is not. 

2647. Will you tell me what are the propoi-tions of the 
populiition in the district of Murshidabad ? — Tliat I am 
unable to say. 

2648. Your remarks as to the 90 per cent, referred to 
the population of the city only p — Yes. 

2649. Then, takin? 90 per cent., or more than half of the 
population, do you thinlc it would be possible with due re- 
gard to the public opinion of that city, entirely to prohibit 
a practice indulged iu by so large a proportion of people P — 
Certainly ; with a proviso similar to that wliich the Govern- 
ment is carrying into effect iu Burma, allowauee being 
made for present consumers. 

2650. You would have a registry made of present con- 
sumers ; how will you propose to carry that out p — I suppose 
that would be the method. 

2651. Do you think it would be a practical method P — I 
feel that is ii question for Government olticials more than for 
myself. If it were not practical, they would find another 
mode. 

26.52. You have expressed your belief that public opinion 
would support a prohibition of this kiud. I wish to 
know what grounds you have for sayiug that public 
opinion would enforce such a prohibition iu tl)e c.ise of so 
large a propoition P — Jly dependence is of course uot npon 
the public opiniou of Murshidabad City, but upon the 
public opinion of India, that is, the public opinion of 280 
million people, contrasted with tlie public opinion of 56,000. 
I believe if Government had at its back the public opinion 
of, say, 200 million, it could afford to deal strongly 
with the public opinion of some 56,000. 

2653. Are you able to speak with as much confidence as t" 
the public opinion of280 million of people that you have no' 
been brought into direct contact with, as you can with refer- 
ence to the opinion of the smaller number with which you 
have been brought into direct contact P — I feel confident 
that the public opinion of these opium-smokers would not 
agree with it, so that in that case the analogy breaks down ; 
but with regard to the whole population of ludia, I express my 
belief generalizing from particulars, but of course I can scarce- 
ly be reasonably expected to offer anything like a guar- 
antee that this opinion is absolutely correct ; it is my opiuion. 

2654. I think you also told us that opium-smokers say 
that they could not work without it, but in your opinion tliat 
is not sop — I did say that opium-smokers would say that 
they could not work without it, and there is another claS5 
would say that they could work without it. I do not 
think I went further than tliat. 

2655. Your opiuion was that it was not a correct idea on 
their part? — As far as they are concerned, I think they 
do believe that they could uot work without it, and it may 
be that it is true, although I have had conflicting evidence 
from one who called anti-opiumists mad fanatics. He said 
they could work without it, because they were obliged to do 
without it in jail. 

2656. I do not want to go into any one else's evidence. 
I want to ask whether in your opiniou there is a general idea 
among these men that they cannot work without it P — I 
think that certainly. 

2657. Therefore I presume they would object to be in- 
terfered with ? — Doubtless. 

2658. I suppose you would admit the truth of the proverb 
"that the man who wears the shoe knows wliere it pin- 
ches" P — Yes, I thinli that is correct. 

2659. (Mr. Fanshaiee.) I understand you to describe the 
effects of opium-smoking on an urban .Mahomedan population 
in Murshidabad P — It would be more correct, as far as 
the city of iMurshidabad is concerned, to say that I have 
described more largely the effect of opium-eating. 

2660. May I take itthat you describe tbe effects of opium- 
eating on an urban population such as you find in Vlursliid- 
abadP— I do not wish to confine my remarks as applying 
only to the.-e cases ; my own dwelling, fiir example, was 
7 miles away from the city, iu Berhampore, where also 
the evil effects of opium are known. 

2661. But taking it broadly, that is the class you are re- 
ferring to generally as using opium to excess P — Yes ; I 
think so certainly. 



2662. Outside the city of Murshidabad, can you tell us 
what the proportion of opium-eating would be to opium- 
smoking p — No. 

2663. Is smoking much more common than opium-eating, 
or much less common P — I cannot say accurately. 

2664. You have been in the habit of visiting a great num- 
ber of villages lor a series of years in this district P— Yes. 

2665. Has it come within your experience that opium- 
eating is resorted to at all as a stimulant in the malarious 
parts of Murshidabad P— No, it has not. 

2866. Among the Jain community to which you referred, 
is the opium habit one of eating or smoking P— M ostly eating. 

2667- The members of that community are good business 
men, I presume P — They are. 

2668. And would the remarks that you have made with 
regard to opium leading to lying and cheating and not pay- 
ing debts apply to that community P -No, they have not the 
temptation : I exempt all wealthy men. 

2669. You exempt the wealthy community ? — Yes, they 
are not under temptatiou. 

2670. You said it was quite common in the city of Mur- 
shidabad to recommend the use of opium as an aphrodisiac : 
would you kindly tell us by whom you mean? — I wish to 
consider that remark as enlarged far beyond Murshidabad 
and as applying not onlv to Mahoiuedaus, but to Hindus 
and very largely through society. 

2671. By whom is it recommended : by their native 
doctors p — By one another, by friends. 

2672. Recommended amongst themselves? — Amongst 
themselves. 

2673. You recommend that the use of opium shonld 
be prohibited except for medical purposes ; speaking gener- 
ally, what do you include under medical purposes ; do you 
mean that opium should only be sold on medical prescrip- 
tion p — Y'es, I should think so. 

2674. Like other medical prescriptions p — By qualified 
medical men. 

2675. Throughout the districts?— I think there is a 
system now iu India of both English practitioners aud 
Kabirajis. 

2676. Then you would mean that opium should only be 
supplied on the certificate of a qualified practitioner according 
to the European system, or a qualified praotitiouer according 
to the Native system, including both p — Yes. 

2677. With your knowledge of the country, would you 
say that opium generally is used as what I might call 
a domestic remedy in cases of dysentery, rheumatism, 
pains, and so on, in many villages throughout the districts, 
apart from what the doctors would recommend P — I believe 
it is, particularly for lumbago, rheumatism, or paius of the 
body. 

2678. If it is used generally as a domestic remedy,how would 
you provide for cases of this kiud in future should it be neces- 
sary to have a medical certificate, European or Native p — 
I should like to say that I have never attempted carefully 
to work out this, nor do I pretend to have any scheme in 
my mind, but I believe that a scheme may easily be devised. 
Of course medical practitioners could give a certificate or 
some pre.scriptiou by which I suppose medicine of that kind 
could be got regularly in certain quantities. 

2679. With your knowledge of the country you must be 
well aware that there are many vegetable poisons to be 
found in almost every village p — That is so. 

2680. Do you wish us to understand that your experience 
has been that poisoning by opium is a much more comnmn 
form of suicide than by any other poison p — I believe it is 
mvjch more largely used, and that a comparison with any other 
poison Would reduce the comiiarisou almost to an absurdity. 

2681. But if you had not opium, do you think that 
anybody wishing to commit suicide would be debarred by 
auy difficulty in finding poison according to the present 
conditions of life P— My impression is that iu the case of 
most suicides a little difficulty goes a long way, and that 
they should be protected to the utmost extent to which 
Government can protect them. I believe a man gets so 
under the inlluence of depression that if the way of getting 
free, as it were, of the burden, were not easy, it would pro- 
bably be a sufficient deterrent, and then common sense 
would return and he would uot wish to commit suicide. 

2682. But is the way not easy in the presence of the 
large number of poisons growing almost in every village P 
— I do not think it is so easy. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



43 



2683. Would it not be easy to substitute any one kind 
of poison for another p— I do not think it would ; if I 
did, I would not recommend it. I think that all poiuona 
should be, as far as possible, suppressed. 

2684. With your knowledge of Indian life you must 
know that a great number of suicides are committed 
every year by native women throwing themselves down 
wells p — Yes. 

2685. Does not that come within your knowledge P — 
It does not come within my personal knowledge. 

2686. But you think that is generally correct ? — I 
should say so. 

2687. The well in India being used as a means of com- 
mitting suicide ?— I cannot say that it has come prominent- 
ly before me. I dare say that any one in the North-West 
Provinces would be more likely to hear of it. I believe 
it is a common way of committing suicide among native 
women. 

2688. (Sir James Lyall) You attribute the wretched 
appearance of the Mahomedans to the prevalence of the 
opium habit. Is it not common in India in the old Maho- 
iiiedan cities, particularly decayed ones, which were formerly 
capitals, that the population has a weak and degraded 
appearance p — My experience of old Mahomedan cities is 
limited to Murshidabad, and therefore I am not in a posi- 
tion to answer that question. 

2689. You refer to the use of opium as an aphrodisiac ; 
is it not usually understood to be the case tliat from very 
early sexual intercourse and other habits impotence is 
unusually common among men in India and often comes 
early, and that for this reason opium and many other 
drugs are in unusually large demand as aphrodisiacs? — 
'Well, that may be a fact, but I do not believe that the 
opium taken as an aphrodisiac is taken with the intention 
of procurini; offspring. It is taken more for increasing 
sexual enjoyment. I believe that answer will apply almost 
universally in reference to the use of opium. 

2690. You think it is taken not by men who are disposed 
to be impotent, but by men ordinarily capable of sexual 
intercourse who take it to get an excessive enjoyment ? — I 
think it is taken by both classes, the object being the 
pleasure that it may produce. 

2691. You say that the existing system of licensing is 
vicious, putting the highest pressure on the vendor to 
spread consumption. Is that a theory, or have you any 
personal knowledge or experience of the special methods 
by which such vendors spread the sale p — I know such 
vendors ; I know one particularly who used to be a student 
in our own school, and I know that their object is to try 
and establish as many shops as they can. 

2692. They are not allowed to do that, are they P— That 
is their object ; they try. 

2693. Before the thing is put up for auction the number 
of shops is fixed and no vendor can after that establish 



more shops ; he knows when the auction takes place, how iJe». W. B. 
many shops are going to be allowed p— I had especially in Phillipt. 

mind the fact that in the time of Sir Rivers Thompson, I 

made a strong eflort to get one of his shops clnsed and ^^ Nov. 1 893. 

succeeded in that effort. Our Temperance Society took the 

matter up, and I know how very strong was the opposition 

we had to meet with on his part. This also I know from 

conversation with the people that they try to tempt as 

many as they c«n into this habit, particularly in the 

diilerent outstill districts. 

2694. The vendor I suppose sits in his shop ; he does 
not advertise in the paper or go round about hawking the 
thing. I should like to know if you have any knowledge 
of any special way of increasing the sale which he has 
bejond that of any other shopkeeper who sits in his 
sliop ? — 'I'he shopkeeper is not usually the man who buys 
the license. In the Jtlurshidabad District there were only 
five principal licensees, and all the shops throui;hout the 
district came under them ; they put in their shopkeepers. 

2695. Have you any knowledge or is it theory, of any 
special way by whi(!h they spread the sale P— I am not pre- 
pared to call it theory, if you watch the way in which they 
gather the people. 

2696. That would be one way ; have they any system of 
giithering the people p That is what I wanted to ask you, 
whether you have any knowledge or experience of that ? 
— I have not any knowledge of anj special way. I depend 
more upon what I hear of the pressure that they put upon 
people in trying to increase their sale. 

2997. You say that the Government of India is specially 
responsible for the production of opium ; is it not also to 
be credited with the restriction of opium in India as a whole, 
and high taxation of what is consumed or exported? — 1 
think (jovernment is to be credited with that intention in 
late years. 

2698. I mean with a restriction of production in India 
as a whole P — I heard on this Commission from Sir David 
Barbour that the Government production has remained the 
same for a number of years. 

2699. In the grenter part or nearly the whole of British 
India and a very large part of the Native States do you 
know that through the instrumentality of the Government 
opium has been extinguished ?— That I understand. 

2700. And what' opium is consumed or produced is very 
heavily taxed ? — That I know. 

2701. (Mr, Wilson.) With reference to the question 
about licenses, I understand that it is the case that a certain 
number of shops is mentioned in the licenses ? — I am not 
sure of that. 

2702. Is it not the fact that that number can be in- 
creased by the consent of certain officials ? — I am not clear 
on that point. 

2703. If I say it is, you are not prepared to say that I 
am wrong P— I am not prepared to say that you are 
wrong. 



The witness withdrew. 



Mr. SiTA Nath Hot called in and examined. 



2704. {Chairman.) What is j-our occupation ? — Banker 
and Zemindar, and Secretary to the Bengal National Chamber 
of Commerce. 

2705. I understand that you wish to speak to us with re- 
ference to the consumption of opium on the moral and 
physical condition of the people of Bengal p — Yes. 

2706. It is a well-known fact that the consumption of 
opium in this Presidency is not restricted to particular 
classes or districts, nor does caste impose any restriction 
on the consumption of opium p — It is more or less taken by 
all classes from the higliest Brahmanical caste downwards, 
but it is more generally consumed in the Central and 
Western than in the Eastern parts of Bengal. It would 
not be going too far to affirm that a considerable portion of 
the population of Central and Western Bengal take opium 
while its consumption in Eastern Bengal is much more 
restricted. The disparity in the use of opium by people of 
different parts of the Presidency is mostly due to the great 
prevalence of malarial fevers in Central and Western 
Bengal ; Eastern Bengal being less subject to these afflic- 
tions. There is a deep-rooted belief that opium is a 
prophylactic in malarious diseases. The consumption of 
opium is largely confined to adults above 40 years of age, 
for it is in advanced life when the meridian of life has 

that opium is deemed a necessity as a means to 



ward oil the many ills which flesh is heir to. People 
living in low and marshy lands, and those who have 
to undergo severe physical labour and fatigue and to 
submit to night exposure, deem it a necessity to take opium 
in moderate doses, as it is supposed to prevent chill and 
cold and to give sustained energy and vigor. Young men 
seldom, or only under medical advice, indulge in the use of 
opium. With reference to the effect of the consumption of 
opium on the moral and physical condition of the people, 
my views are that those who use opium moderately do not 
suffer any ill effect ; on the contrary, the general impres- 
sion, bordering on conviction, is that the moderate use of 
opium is beneficial ; that it is a panacea for many diseases, 
and that its tendency is to prolong life. Native phj'sicians 
concur in holding that opium is a reliable prophylactic 
against malaria and chill. It brings certain relief to 
those who are suffering from wasting diseases, diabetes, 
consumption, rheumatism, gout, and bowel complaints ; 
when other treatment fails, patients are invariably recom- 
mended the use of opium. The consumption of narcotics 
in some fcu'in has been in use in this country from time 
immemorial. The Rajputs and Sikhs, the two most martial 
races of India, are said to be the largest consumers of opium, 
and yet they are not only the most prolific and vigoious, 
but the sturdiest of the people of this country. As regards 
the evils attending the use or rather abuse of opium, they 

F2 



Mr. Sil- 
Nath Roy. 



44 



IKDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION: 



22 Nov. 1893. , 



Mi: Sifa Nath are as notliino; in compiwisoii with those caused by alcoliol. 
Not a. single Clime can lie ascribed to the use of opium. 
Who ever met with an opium-eater beating his wife and 
■ oliildreii, quarrelling witli liis neighbours and creating 
public disturbance P We daily meet witli the sad spectacle 
of people dead drunk from the use of alcohol, reeling in the 
streets of our large cities in a disorderly ar.d unconscious 
state and inuapable of taking care oE themselves. But who 
ever met with ai\ opium-eater behaving in this fashion? 
At least the upro:iriousness and wildness caused by the use 
of alcohol are not visible in the case of opium. A man 
under tlie influence of opium is less harmfnl and less 
dangerous than one excited by the use of alcoliol or of other 
native drugs. 

2707. What do you say as to the disposition of the people 
of Bengal as to the use of opium for non-medical purposes ? — 
A3 a rule there is no disposition among the people, espe- 
cially the hii^ber classes of this Presidency, to use opium 
for any but medical purposes. The rioli and the poor alike 
do not hesitate to take opium when occasion arises, but 
they do so under medical advice. I should be wanting in 
candour if I were not to state here that some (though the 
number is very small) among the loivf i classes in our larger 
cities do take opium as a means of pleasurable excitement. 
There are opium dens vi.-iible hero and there in our large 
cities where chiindu and madak, different preparations of 
opium, are smoked by a few who may be designated the 
scum of society, but this is a vice which cannot be charged 
against the higher classes. " 

2708. Will you tell us anything you wish to say with re- 
ference to the disposition of the people of the Province of 
Bengal to bear in whole or in part the cost of measures 
for the prohibition of opium? — It is supeifluous to ask the 
people of this couutry whether they are disposed to hear in 
whole or in part the cost of prohibitive measures. Can it he 
supposed that while the masses of the people of this country 
are proverbially poor, mostly living on one meal a day, and 
that while they are literally groaning under numerous 
direct and indirect taxes, they should be disposed to pay 
additional taxation to reo-uip the heavy loss that must in- 
evitably follow the prohibition of the manufacture and 
sale of opium in British India ? As to the financial aspect 
of the question, is it reasonable to throw to the winds a 
magnificent revenue of about six millions in tens of rupees 
at present derived from an unobjectionable trade in defer- 
ence to the well meaning but mistaken views of moralists 
and irresponsible persons, and then to ask the people of 
the country to recoup the deficiency by the payment of 
additional taxation ? No one knows better than the 
gentleman in charge of the financial portfolio of the Gov- 
ernment of India how difficult it is to raise money in 
this country from taxation, and due weight should be 
given to his representations. Lands in this country, 
besides bearing ihe weight of a heavy revenue payable to 
<30Vernment, hav?, in infringement of the permanent; 
settlement, in violation of the solemn compact entered 
into with the landholders, of late been saddled with 
the payment of two different cesses, namely, road and 
public works cesses, while trade, commerce and the differ- 
ent professions have been taxed to the uttermost by the 
imposition of an obnoxious income-tax. Better sonroes 
of revenue are hardly available, and any attempt at fresh 
taxation would arouse the greatest indignation and dis- 
content everywhere throughout the length and breadth of 
India. Indeed, the imposition of fuither burdens would 
be a cruel injustice. Hence, on financial grounds, it would 
be highly impolitic to abandon the revenue deiived from 
opium, for which there seems no practicable substitute. 

2709. Now let me ask whether in yeur view the growth 
of the poppy and the manufacture and sale of opium in 
British India should be prohibited, and whether you think 
it would be practicable to enforce a prohibition of that 
kind?— There does not seem to be the slightest justification 
for prohibiting the growth of the poppy and the manu- 
facture and sale of opium in British India while other 
stimulants of a far more objectionable character are avail- 
able, while drunkenness reigns rampant here, especially in 
Europe, and wl:ile the country is being deluged with 
the spirits manufactured here and the imported brandy, 
gin and rum, or noxious liquors under those names, 
it is absurd to talk of abolishing the manufacture and 
sale of such an innocuous article of commerce as opium, 
which certainly is not so harmful to society as alcohol. 
Should opium be abolished, people will have recourse to 
narcotic drugs and alcohol, and an unlooked for market of 
large dimensions for European liquors would be opened 
here. So long as philanthropists and moralists in England 
cannot persuade the British Parliament to surrender the 
large revenue arnounting to about 28 millions of pounds 



realised from the liquor traffic at home, and adopt strong 
legislative measures for repressing the use of intoxicating 
liquor, it is a mere mockery to ask the Government of this 
country to prohibit the manufacture and sale of opium. 
But what would be gained by such prohibition? China has 
long cultivated the poppy, and the amount of opium manu- 
iactured there is much larger than that imported from this 
country, and in the absence of that pure product, the Chinese 
would themselves supply an article far more obnoxious. 
While the Indian opium being very superior and considered 
a great luxury is confined to the well-to-do people, the home- 
grown opium, which is not so refined and is much cheaper, 
is consumed by millions of people. The only consequence 
of abolishing Government trade in opium would be either 
to throw the drug open to free trade, or to hold out an 
incentive to Chinese for the much larger manufacture of 
less pure opium in their own country. While the Chinese 
would go on smoking their pipes with home-srown opium, 
the Government of India, which can hardly make two 
ends meet, would for nothing be sacrificing a revenue 
of six millions tens of rupees at the bidding of a 
number of well meaning but mistaken philanthropists, 
who perceive not the beam in the eyes of their own people. 
It does not seem possible to effectually prohibit the 
manufacture and especially the sale of opium in this 
country. Government may prohibit the growth of the 
poppy in British India, but it cannot and should not, consis- 
tently with justice and without giving rise to serious un- 
pleasantness, prohibit the growth of the poppy in the 
States of the Independent Chiefs of Central India. With 
the abolition of the opium trade in British India, a greater 
stimulus would be given to the growth of the poppy and 
the manufacture and sale of opium in the Native States, 
and opium would continue to he imp nted and smuggled 
into British territory, China and elsewhere, and it would 
be costly and extremely difficult, if not unpleasant and 
unsafe, to prevent it by a system of excise which would he 
intolerable. The revenue derived f'om opium is one of the 
princii>al sources of income in the Native States of Central 
India, and to ask them, without anv re.ison, to forego it, 
would be asking too much of them. Nor can the payment of 
adequate compensation induce the Central Indian Chiefs to 
prohibit the manufacture of ojiiuin in their territories, for 
their subjects have been accustomed to the use of opium 
from time immemorial, and a habit so deep-rooted cannot 
be easily abandoned. The fact is, Iho prohibition of the 
growth of the poppy and the manufacture and sale of 
opium ill this country would not only throw the Govern- 
ment into extreme difficulty, but bring serious loss to 
ryots and landlords alike and to many thousands of people 
engaged in opium factories. 

2710. Do you think that any change short of pro- 
hibition should be made in the existing arrangements for 
regulating and restrictin;; the opium traffic in Bengal and 
raising a revenue from that source .'' — The present system 
of Government monopoly seems to work admirably, and 1 
cannot suggest any change in it. It imposes a great res- 
triction on the consumption of opium. With the abandon- 
ment and withdrawal of the Government monopoly, several 
powerful joint-stock companies would be floated for the 
manufacture and sale of opium, and some of the very gentle- 
men who are now loudest in their declamations against 
opium might be shareholders in such a thriving and lucra- 
tive business. 

2711. Does that conclude what you wish to say in your 
examination-in-cbief ? — There is one thing more 1 should 
like to say in reference to what has fallen from Mr. Phillips 
as to the wretched conditi(m of the Mahomedan population 
of .Murshidabad. iVly belief with reference to the wretched 
condition of the population of Murshidabad is that it is 
more on account of the prevalence of malaria that they 
present such a wretched appearance. The fact that a large 
number of the population of Murshidabad do take opium 
is on account of the prevalence of malaria. I know it 
from my personal contact with the people living in and 
around Calcutta where there is a great prevalence of 
malaria. The people in and about Calcutta do take opium, 
and those who are stricken by malarial fever necessarilv 
present a wretched spectacle. It is my belief that it is 
not on account of the use of opium that such a sad 
appearance is presented, but on account of their being 
stricken by malarial fevers. 

2712. (Mr. Pease.) With reference to your previous 
answer as to joint-stock companies, I should like to ask 
what grouiid you have for such a statement? — That is my 
belief. 

2713. That gentlemen who are at present denouncing 
the opium trade are so insincere that they would take part 
in thfit business p— I do not meau to say tha^. 



MINUTES OF KVIDKNCE. 



45 



2714. Then what do yon mean?— T mean that although 
I might not take aloohol, still 1 might take shares in a wine 
business. 

2715. {Chairman.) A pure hypothesis ? — A pure hypo- 
thesis. 

2716. (Mr. Pease.) What special jtrounda have yoii had 
for forming an opinion upon tlie physical effects of opium p 
— As a meiohant and zemindai' I have had experience among 
several classes of people. Living in tlie mofussil and in 
Calcutta, daily coining into contact with a large number of 
people, I know a large number who consume opium without 
any ill effects from tlie use; indeed, they tell me it is very 
beneficial for their liealth. 

2717. Are you personally interested in the opium business 
or in the employ of those who are ? — 1 am not in any way 
interested directly or indirectly. 

2718. Is opium largely used in the district from which 
vou come in cases of fever instead of quinine P — In one 
part of the country, I mean at Dacca, there is no such thing 
as malarial fever, consequently the consumption of opium, 
as I have faid, is very limited. It is in Westcni and 
Central Bengal that the consumption of opium is larger. 

27 i 9. (Mr. Wilson.) Will you tell me whether the gen- 
eral remarks you have made in reference to its use for medi- 
cinal purposes are based on personal knowledge or on what 
your fi-iends have communicated p — Not on personal know- 
ledge but on what I hear from my friends as to the effect of 
it. I myself do not take opium. 

2720. Do I understand that you are here as representing 
the Chamber of Commerce p— Yes. 

(Chairman.) I believe it is the Native Chamber of 
Commerce. 

2721. (Mr. Wilson.) You have not said much as to its 
eflEect on commerce, on which I expected to hear a good 
deal ; havs you anything to add on that subject P— I never 
dealt in opium. I have but little knowledge on that 
S'ibject. 

2722. Supposing the sale and cultivation to he largely- 
restricted or abolished, in what way would it affeut the 
Chamber of Commerce as a commercial body ?— In this way ; 
if the consumption and export o£ opium to China were 
less, in consequence of the restriction, the Government 
revenue from opium would be less, and in order to recoup 
the deficiency the Government might impose fresh burdens 
on the people including zemindars and merchants who 
would not relish it. 

27:i3. In any other way ? — The people also would not 
like it because in many instances they ate obliged to take 
opium, and if it could not be had easily they would be 
dissatisfied. 

2724. That is a matter in regard to the social life of 
the people ; I am speaking particularly from a commeioial 
point of view ; have you anytliing to say except that there 
13 a fear of additional taxation ?- There are persons, 
especially some big Jew gentlemen, who deal in opium, 
and some Marwari gentlemen who deal in opium, and per- 
haps they would be inconvenienced if the oonsumptiou and 
production of opium were restricted. 

2725. Are they members of your Association ? — Some 
Marwaris are members of the Association. 

2726. I think you said you regarded opium as a panacea 
for many diseases P— Yes. 

2727. You mentioned particularly malaria?— Malaria, 
rheumatism, gout, bowel-complaints, and diabetes : in all 
these cases opium is very largely taken, and the Kabirajis 
prescribe it. 

2728. I asked about young children p— Not necessarily 
children ; it may be that children as well as adults are all 
liable to attacks of malaria. 

2729. My question is, are not children e^^pecially liable 
to be affected by malaria P-I am not aware of it. 

2730. Can you tell me whether, as a matter of fact, 
opium is given to children or not. You say it is useful in 
later life P— I do not know whether it is given to children. 
I come mostly in contact with grown-up people, and they 
tell me that they use opium as a prophylactic against ma- 
laria, that they derive great benefits from its use. 

2731 I think you said that many of tl'.e.«e people you 
are speaking of are extremely poor and only get one meal 
a day P— Large masses of the people. 

2732 But although they have only that one meal a day 
they find money for the opium p— Not necessarily. Opium 
is taken by all classes of people, rich and poor alike, but 
perhaps those who live on one meal a day can hardly spare 
money for opium. 



2733. In reference to the taxation, you are aware that Mr. Sita Nath 



the proposal of the Anti-Opium Association in England is 
that any additional cost in loss of revenue should not fall 
upon India P — I was not aware of it until I read it in 
yesterday's papers. 

2734. Now that you are aware of it, does it not 
somewhat modify the opinions you have expressed P — I 
do not know whether they will indemnify the ryots, the 
landholders, and the people of Central India. It might be 
that they will be disposed to give the millions of money 
which the Government of India would lose, but I do not 
know whether they would indemnify everybody that would 
lose from the suppression of the opium trade. 

2735. Do you consider that the ryots would suffer much ? 
—I believe so. 

2736. You think it is a very profitable crop P — It is one 
of the most valuable crops. 

2737. Are you aware that in several recent opium official 
reports reference has been made to the difficulties in 
getting it cultivated p — I am not aware of it. 

2738. If you were to see such statements in official re- 
ports, w mid it modify your opinion that the ryots are very 
fond of the ciop ? — I believe the advances of money made by 
the Government of India are an inducement to the ryots 
to cultivate land for the poppy. 

2739. Yery likely, but do you think it is the most profit- 
able crop they have ? — One of the most profitable. 

27 iO. You have referred to the Native States. Is it not 
the fact that the growth of opium is now prohibited in 
some of the Native States P — I am not aware of it. 

2741. Are you not»ware of any I^ative States in which it 
is prohibited p— I am not aware of it. 

2742. Do you know anything about Mysore ? — No. 

2743. Are you aware that the revenue from opium has 
been diminishing a good deal of late years P — Yes. 

!i744. And thit with the constant increasing growth of 
the poppy in China ihere are considerable feirs that opium 
will further diminish ? —It is diminishing, but that is no 
reason why it should be forcibly suppressed. 

2745. If it is steadily diminishing, some means will have 
to be found to meet it P — It will be many years before it is 
completely diminished. 

2746. Supoose England to be willing to make a very 
substantial contvibnthm now in order to get rid of what 
many persons object to in this traffic, do you not think it 
might, if it were possible, he a good bargain for India to get 
English money, and not to see this revenue gradually dwindle 
away until it comes to nothing P — If the Government gave 
a guarantee that they would remit every year 6 millions of 
rupees, and at the same time indemnify all the ryots, land- 
holders, and subjects of the Native States of Central India, 
and also allow the use of opium for medicinal purposes, I 
think we should not have the least objection. 

2747. You have referred to the drink traffic in England 
and the revenue derived from it. If there were to be some 
material alteration made within a few years in our liquor 
laws in England and if we showed some anxiety to get rid 
of that corise that would destroy the force of your argu- 
ment about the opium traffic iu that re-pect ? — Still we 
would not like to abandon the opium traffic, because to us it 
seems that opium is not so harmful and dangerous as 
alcohol. Opium, it appears to us, is an innocuous article of 
commerce. 

2748. That was not my question. I thought you intro- 
duced the question of the liquor trade in England and 
pointed out the inconsistency in that respect p — Yes. 

2749. Then, if England were to make some distinct 
advance in reference to its own liquor laws, that would de- 
stroy that part of your argument p — What I meant was that 
in that case they could con-sistently ask the Government of 
India to put restrictions on the export of opium to China. 

2750. (Mr. Mowbray.) You said that on certain condi- 
tions with regard to the payment by England you thought it 
might be possible to restrict the use of opium iu India to 
medicinal purposes ?— Yes. 

2751. Fave you formed any plan in your own mind as 
to the way in which that could be carried out? — Not at 
all. 

2752. (Mr. Haridas Veharidas.) Did I understand you 
to say that you think opium does good and not harm 
to the people who use it in moderation ? — Yes. 

2753. Not for medical use only?— As far as I know, it 
is used mostly for medical purposes, and if it were not, stijl 
it would do no hariH. 



Roy. 
22 No . 1893. 



46 



Indian oriuM coiiiiissioN ; 



Mr.SitaNath 2754. You do not tbmk it is ;l vice ?— The immoderate 

'^' use of it as a means of pleasurable excitement, as a 

22 Nov. 1893. ™''^"* of debauchery, is condemnable, but the moderate use 

!__ ' of it, especially as our countrymen use it for medicinal 

purposes, i^ not condemnable. 

2755. {Sir James Lyall.) Twomissionary gentlemen who 
have given evidence before the Commission, have sugjjested 
that a tobacco tax might be imposed to make good the reve- 



nue lost by the prohibition ot the cultivation of opium ; what 
do you think would be the general idea in India of such a 
proposal ? — There can be only one answer to it. The irhole 
of India as a man would protest, because the lower class- 
es and the higher classes also, especially the lower classes, 
cannot do without tobacco. A tax on tobacco would be high- 
ly resented by the people and produce tlie greatest amount 
of discimtent and indignation ; it is the last thing that 
Government should do. 



The witness withdrew. 

{Eev. W. B. Phillips.) As one of my statements has reference to the appearance of the people in Murshidabad, 
been traversed, I should like to say that my remarks, with apply to the city only, and not to the district. 

Adjourned until to-morrow at 10-30. 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Buildings, Calcutta- 



ELEVENTH DAY. 

Thursday, 23rd November 1893. 



PBESENT : 



The Eight Honoueable LORD BRASSEY, K.C.B. (Chaieiian, pbesidino), 



Hevd. 
T. Evans. 



Sib .Iames B. Ltall, G.C.I.E., K.C.S.I. 
„ William Roberts, iM.D. 

MlJ. 11. G. C. i\l0WBBAT, iM.P. 

„ A. n. Fanshawe. 



23 Nov. 1893. 



Me. Aethue Pease. 
,, Habidas Vehaeidas Desai. 
,; H. J. Wilson, M.P. 



Me. J. Pbesoott Hewett, C.I.B., Secretary. 
The Reverend Thomas Evans called in and examined. 



2756. (Chairman.) Will you state shortly the length of 
time you have been in this counti-y and the nature of the 
work upon which you have been engaged, and generally 
describe the nature of your position and occupation ? — I 
have been in India for 38 years, and I have been engaged 
in mission work until lately, when 1 retired. For the last 
few years I have been more specially engaged in the promo- 
tion of temperance work among the natives of India. 

2757. What means have you had especially of ascer- 
taining the social habits of the people of India regarding 
the use of opium ?— I would say at the outset that my chief 
attention with regard to the Indian " Abkari " Department 
has been devoted not so much to the opium question as to 
that ot strong drinks. 

At the same time I have not mixed up, as a missionary, 
with the people of India for the last 38 years witli- 
out having had numerous opportunities of discovering that 
the use of opium, more or less, is a prevalent vice among 
them, if not more so than their indulgence in alcohol. In- 
deed, in many cases opium finds free admission into many 
wealthy families where strong drink would not be tolerated. 

The Shastras of the Hindus, as well as the Koran of the 
Mahomedans, strongly prohibit the use of alcohol, while, 
as far as I am aware, opium is not thus forbidden. I 
heard yesterday from a native gentleman of high caste 
that this drug is more or less in use among all classes of the 
people of India. The simple fact that opium produces such 
a large amount of revenue to the Government is at once a 
proof of its popularity. In the North-West Provinces 
alone no less than Es. 8,41,270 was realised by way of 
opium revenue in the year 1892, while in Oudh there was 
the sum of Rs. 1,08,753 ; and in both cases there was an 
increase over the previous year. The revenue from opium 
and hemp drugs in the Punjab for 1891-92 was Re. 
6,19,595 and for 1892-93 Rs. 6,49,330. This same sort of 
increase is seen in nearly all other parts of India, and spe- 
cially so in the Central Provinces. As to the use for 
which the people of India generally consume opium, 
while no doubt many use it medicinally, yet I am 
of opinion that this is not the general use for which it is 
taken. It is common to hoar of poor mothers giving it to 
their children in order to put them to sleep while they are 
away at work, and of late years this practice has greatly 



increased in the case of women who are employed at the 
various factories. Only the other day I was told by a 
reliable authority that great havoc is made among little 
children in such cases by overdoses of opium which at 
times is given them. Then if a wife is jealous of her 
husband it is a common practice to resort to opium to put 
an end to life. But from all I have been able to gather in 
my intercourse with the pe(]ple, I find that the drug is 
chiefly used on account of its aphrodisiacal properties in 
order to force into activity the exhausted powers of nature 
and to stimulate and excite lust. Before 1 had been six 
months in India I was told by a brother missionary who 
used to distribute grain to the poor on Sundays, that it was 
a common thing for the beggars to ask for a bit of opium 
to proisiote sexual intercourse, and often since that time the 
same request has been made to myself. I have been told 
more than once by native doctors that the use of opium for 
this purpose is as common as it is sad and degrading. 
2758. Can you give any special cases of opium victims 
that have come under your ob.servation ; and at what 
age do you find that the opium habit is generally 
forinedP — As to any s^ec/w^ cases that have come under 
my immediate notice and with which I have had to do I 
can just now call to mind the following instances, o'ne 
case is that of the " pundit " vvho taught me the HinJi 
language and whose nnme was Paramanund. He was a 
Christian convert at Agra, and during the Mutiny was 
killed at Muttra. This man had been for years, while yet 
a Hindu devotee, in the habit of eating opium. Every 
possible effort was made to cure him of the habit, hut all 
was in vain. I have often seen him walking along by my 
side with his eyes closed, and it was with the .Greatest 
difficulty I could keep him awake while teaching me the 
language. He himself often said that he deeply felt the 
disgrace of his position, but that he could not possibly live 
without his daily dose of opium. Another case was that of 
a young Brahmin, who was a fine Sanskrit scholar He 
became, I believe, a true convert to Christianity at Allaha- 
bad m the year 1870, and he often preached with me in the 
bazaar. I was not at first aware of his opium propensities 
alttiough I could see a strange restlessness in his eyes and 
some eccentric conduct. At last it all came out and his 
sad story was, that some years before some old woman had 
persuaded him to take opium as a preventive fro:n cold 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



47 



The dose went on increasing by degrees until at last he had 
become a slave ti. the habit. I did all in my power to get 
him to give up the vice, but I utterly f.iiled and was com- 
pelled at last to give him up as a hopeless case and turn 
him out of the mission. Another case was that of a, tin- 
man in Allahabad. This poor victim looked so emaciated 
and wretched that I one day asked him if he was ill. He 
said, " Yes, Sir, and I cannot be cured." I answered, " Why ?" 
His pitiable reply was " I am a kaidi (prisoner), shut up in 
''^ the prison pf ' ufeem' (opium) and cannot possibly find a way 
" out." I pitied the poor fellow, and in order to induce him 
to make a strong effort to conquer the vice I offered him 
5 rupees if he kept from the opium for five days, and I asked 
his raasterto watch over him. He held out for three days and 
then broke out saying that no amount of money could com- 
pensate for the horrible cravina; for the drug which made 
his life a burden. A common expression with opium-eaters 
when they cannot get the drug is to say " sub btiddenfutt 
"juta hai;" that is, "the whole body is going to pieces." 
Such is the agony of the fearful opium crave tliat the poor 
victim who suffers from it will beg, borrow, or steal in oider 
to secure a fresh supply of the drug. Such, in brief, has 
been my observation of opium victims, though of course 
the iristances above given were extreme cases. At the same 
time it should not be forgotten tbat opium, like alcohol, is 
a crave which grows on one insidiously and like a dendly 
hydra folding its slimy coils round its victims by slow 
degrees until at last the fearful craving crushes its votaries 
to death. I have found that, as a rule, opium habits are form- 
ed in early life by mothers administering it to their children. 
Then there are other cases in which men take to the in- 
dulgence of opium and Ihang and ganja and charus, when 
they resolve to lead the life of relitrinus ascetics, as nearly all 
devotees in India indul^-e largely in stimulants, which 
among them is not considerpd a disgrace, for they are 
freed from the trammels of social life, as they suppose. 

2759. Does that represent all you wish to say as to the 
difficulty which it is alleged is experienced in relinquishing 
the use of the drug when once the habit has been contract- 
ed P — As to the question whether opium victims ever give up 
the habit, while L would not say that there are no exceptions, 
yet I do say that as a rule they do not give it up. In proof 
of this I may state that during my travels through India, 
from the extreme north to the south, for the last four years, 
to promote temperance work among the natives, while I 
have been able in connection with the Anglo-Indian Tem- 
perance Association to organise about 130 anti-alcohol 
societies which include about 100,000 members, I have not 
been able to find a single person willing to give up the use 
of opium, and I have often been asked to say that members 
need only sign against liquoi\ As far as my experience 
goes, I do not think that five per cent, of confirmed opium- 
eaters, and not one in 1,000 of cAaMc?«-smokeis, ever 
relinquish the evil habit till death sets them free from the 
tsrrible bondage. 

2760. Are you of opinion from your experience that the 
opium habit tends materially to the shortening of life ?— 1 
am not prepared to make any statement on that point. 

2761. What do you consider the most injurious method of 
taking opium ; and do you think that the opium drug is a 
preventative against malaria or fever? — It would appear to 
me that opium-smoking is much more deleterious in its 
effects than that of eating or drinking it. The fumes of 
the poison seem to affect the lungs and through them the 
blood with greater virulence than is the case when other- 
wise taken. We full well know that the smoking of 
chandu (which is clarified opium) is much more injurious 
than that of eating or drinking the drug. This may account 
for the fact that the Sikhs in the Punjab and others as well, 
who use opium as » drink with their food, do not suffer 
nearly as much from its evil effects as others do who smoke 
it. 

2762. (Sir William Soherts.) Does that apply to 
opium-eating and smoking in India ? — In India. 

2763. Not in China? — I know nothing about China. 
2764 {Chairman.) What have you to say about opium 

being a preventative against malaria ?— As to the question 
whether opium is a preventative from the effects of malaria or 
not, I am not competent to give a reliable opinion, but if it be 
80, it seems strange that our benevolent Government, which 
supplies cholera pills free of charge to people living in 
places where that sickness prevails, should not be equally 
liberal in supplying opium pills to its poor subjects residmg 
in malarious districts. And further, if opium is such a 
powerful prophylactic, how is it that, while the Chinese in 
Burma may enjoy the boon, it is strictly forbidden by law 
to allow the native Burmans either to sell or to purchase 
it? Another strange mystery about this question is this, 
that, while it is supposed that opium is good to those who 



live in British territory, strange to say, the subjects of 
JNative States are forbidden to enjny this boon by the culti- 
vation of it in their own native country. The (jovernm.nt 
ot India has made a treaty with the State of Mysore in 
Southern India by which the cultivation of opium in that 
country is strictly prohibited, and,, if I am not misinformed, 
the same restriction is enforced upon other Native Princes 
in India. 

2765. Have you any remarks to make as to the result 

ot closing the licensed opium-smoking shops in India? 

With regard to the closing of cAa«c?«-8nioking dens by the 
order of Government, I am sorry to have to say that that 
order has been so far sadly neglected, and it may be that 
the chief reason for that is found in the issue of a confi- 
dential circular, circulated at the order of the Commissioner 
of Excise in the North-West Provinces in July 1892. 

That confidential circular I will now read: 

" Confidential. No. 1 of 1892, dated 26th July 1892. 
"Prom T. Stoker, Esq., C.S., Commissioner of Excise, 
"North-West Provinces and Oudh, to all Commissioneis 
" and Collectors, North-West Provinces and Oudh. 

" Sir,— You are already aware that henceforth the chandu 
"and mai^ff/i;-smoking is absolutely prohibited on the pre- 
'• mises licensed for the sale of the drug. It is impossible 
"to doubt that this prohibition will be followed by the 
"opening in many places of unlicensed places of resort where 
" smokers can obtain the facilities which they require, and 
"that such places will have to be kept under observation, 
" both for general reasons and also with a view to prevent 
"the use_ of illicit opium. As the law now stands, the 
"authorities have no_ power to suppress consumption on 
" premises where opium or its preparations are not sold. 
" There is nothing in the law to prevent any one opening a 
" saloon for the accommodation of opium-smokers who bring 
" their own cAan(^a. He can supply pipes and lamps and 
" 8ervioe,_and charge a fee for their use, and the law cannot 
" touch him unless he is detected>elling opium or its prepar- 
" ations, or found in possession of more than the legal 
" quantity. _ On this point the opinion of the Board of 
" Revenue is that it is not altogether advisable that such 
'■■ places_ should be suppressed. Collectors should watch such 
" establishments carefully so as to prevent the sale thereat of 
" illicit opium. The known conditions of c^asnt^M smoking 
" render the maintenance of some common place for the 
" consumption of the drug an almost absolute necessity. No 
" effort should be made to suppress such places, as it is better 
" that they should be known, and thus be liable to superyi- 
'■ sion." 

I presume that any further remarks from me on this 
circular are unnecessary. 

2766. What in your opinion, so far as your experience 
goes, are the results of indulgence in opium ? — As to the 
results of indulgence in opium, little need be said, as it 
is a fact as well known, as it is sadly deplored, that 
the results are, and must be, degrading and disastrous. 
Physically, the body, with all its complicated functions, 
becomes in a large measure paralysed. Langour, lietless- 
ness, and laxity ot nerve and limb set in as a natural con- 
sequence of opium poisoning. The brain is clouded over 
by the fumes of the deadly drug, and no doubt the moral 
nature is lowered in tone and character, and becomes so 
defiled and corrupted that the keen sense of right and 
wrong is in a large measure annihilated. 

2767. Turning to the cultivators, are you of opinion 
that they are glad to have the opportunity of using their 
fields for sowing poppy? — As to the question whether or 
not cultivators object to use their fields for sowing poppy, 
I have reason to know that they would rather not do it. 
During a residence of ten years in Monghyr, a place sur- 
rounded by opium cultivation, I have often asked the 
people if it was their own wish to plant the poppy. The 
answer, as a rule, was to this effect: — "No, sahib ; it is a 
" great trouble, and expensive too, but what are we to do ? 
" it is the order of the Sircar (Grovernment), and we are bound 
" to obey." Besides this, is it not a fact that the Opium 
Department have a staff of highly-paid officials whose duty 
it is to visit the vRlages and to offer large advances of 
money to those who will consent to cultivate opium? It 
may not be too much to say that this is the bait which 
hooks on the cultivators to this work, and that without it 
the probability is, that few, if any, of them would of their 
own accord give up their fields for poppy cultivation. 
I have also been told, but I have had no proof of it (it is 
very difficult to find evidence), that the Putwa, the man 
whose duty it is to look after the land and see what it 
produces, often gets presents, backsheesh, from the Sircar 
to induce the people to cultivate opium. Of that I have 
no positive evidence ; but it is said so. I have every desire, 
as a loyal subject (which all Welshmen are) to give the 



jRevd. 
T. JUvam. 

23 Nov. 1893. 



48 



INDIAN OPU'M COMMISSION 



Revd. 
T. Evans. 

23 Nov. 1893 



Indian Government all possible credit for its good intentions, 
and I deeply sympathize wilh its financial pressure. At 
the same time one cannot foibear asking why not be 
consistent and say : " We need the revenue and therefore 
" we cannot give up the cipium trade, or the liquor, or the 
" hemp drug traflhc." Tliis would be straigbtforwnrd. But, 
further, if the Government could see its way wisely to 
renounce all revenue derived I'rom the vices of its subjects, 
knowinj; that that which is morally wrong cannot be politi- 
cally right, then it would act a noble part that would com- 
mand the approval of the Most High. Groat Britain lost 
nothing, but gained, by the pnymeut of 20 millions sterling 
for the emancipation of its slaves in the West Indies, and 
if our Government in the East Indies would but follow 
that noble example, the Great God, who commands the 
wealth of the Universe, could and would more than re pay 
the loss, and cause the financial as well as the political basis 
of our British rule in India to be established in riglileous- 
ness and to be fixed upim a rock as firm as His own eternal 
promises to reward all those who put their trust in Him, 
who is the King of Kings and Lord of all. 

2768. You have stated in strong terms the objections 
which you entertain towards any sanction being given by 
the Government of India to the traffic in opium. Do you 
entertain similar objections to sanction being given by a 
Government, whether the Government of India, or the 
Government at liome, to a traHio in strong drinks P — The 
English liovernmeiit in En<;land does not traffic directly in 
strong drinks : it is not the proprietor of the concern. In 
India, the (ioveinment is the proprietor and the promoter 
of the whole concern. I think that that makes a great 
difference. 

2769. You are aware that witnesses who have appeared 
before us on behalf of the Anti-Opium AssociMtion do not 
concur in that view : they hold an equal ohji'ctiou to what 
is known here as the Bengal monopoly system, and to the 
Bombay system, under which licenses and export duties 
are levied ; hut the Government is not diiectly concerned 
in the matter? — I do not think myself it the Government 
simply levied a prohibitive t;ix upon the opium, cultivated 
and exported, the Government would be as responsible for 
it as it is at present. 

2770. (Sir James Lyall.) By prohibitive, do you mean 
a tax which would amount to prohibition F — Yes, in a large 
measure so. 

2771. {Chairman.) If the tax were not sufficiently onerous 
to practically prohibit, you would regard it with the same 
moral objection as you entertain to the Bengal monopoly 
system ? — If Government confines itself to taxing the 
article and not producing it, I think it would rid itself of 
its moral responsibility. 

{Chairman. ) That view which you are now expressing 
has been put forward very strongly by some, but there are 
witnesses who have appeared on behalf of the Anti-Opium 
Assooiatimi who do not concur with your view. 

2772. {Sir James Lyall.) You say that the order to close 
chandu shops has been sadly neglected ? — Yes. 

2773. You apprehend that this is due to the confidential 
circular P — Partly. 

2774. What meaning do you attach to the circular ? 
What results do you attribute to itp — The meaning I 
attach to it is th.at the chandu-smokers took encourage- 
ment when they heard of this to carry on the trade. 

2775. But how do you think they heard of it, because it 
was au expressly confidential circular P — These confidential 
things very often leak out, and people who are financially 
concerned, very often find them out very quickly. 

2776. Is not what is stated in the circular ccreot, that 
such shops cannot be aupprea-ed by law, as (he law stunds 
at present ?— They may not be able to suppress them, but 
I think that where it is known by Government that they 
are carried on, efforts should be made to suppress them. 

2777. How can it be done, if there is no law ? — The law 
was that chandu dens should he closed. 

2778. The law was that none should be licensed ; that 
no dens should be licensed in which opium could be sold — 
Would you kindly allow me to read an exti'act from 
my own diary bearing on this subject. 

2779. Will you answer that questhm first ? You said 
that the order was that chandu shops should be closed ? — 
Chandu-smoking shops, not chandu-sellin;: shops : the order 
never included that. The people are still allowed to sell 
chandu, but not to meet in a special place to smoke it. 

27S0. But if the law does not prevent a man opening a 
saloon in which people can smoke chandu, as long as 
chandu is not sold in that shop, if that is the law, how can 
the Magistrate prevent the saloon being opened P The 



circular states the law.— I am not at all sure in my 
own mind that that was the spirit of the law. If it was, 
it was a very imperfect law. Here is an extract bearing on 
this subject. I quote from Abkari, April 1893, page 67 :— 
" Chandu shop.—Vfe now went down a most filthy, narrow 
" lane, and there saw a shop for selling chandu. The owners 
"are Jhanguo Khabeb and Syed Abdul Janur. There 
"is a second chandu shop iu Begum Bazar belonging 
" to the same people. Close hy the first shop is the 
"smoking den; they rent these places, pay Ks. 3 for 
" the chandu shop, and I!s. 4 for the big den, about 40 feet 
" long and 20 broad. We went there about 9 a.m., and the 
" place had then thirty smokers inside, most of them lying 
" down, some asleep. In the evening they told us that 
" some fifty or sixty ome, and among them one woman of a 
" bad character. The chandu is prepared in the shop, the 
"other side of the road, and is sold at about Ks 50 per seer 
" to the smol;ers, most of whom can only afford to get one or 
" two annas worth per day. Some Hiuoke as much as 4 annas 
" worth daily. Jl r. Evans :— Has not the Government issued 
" an order to close all opium-smoking dens ? How then do 
" you keep this p Shopman : -That I don't know, and don't 
"care. I was told ahen I took my license to sell chandu 
"that I could have a smoking den if I only put it 22 feet 
•' apart from the chandu shop. I have done that, and now 
" I can have as many smokers as I like in my den. 
"Mr. Evans:— Who told you you could do this P Shopman :— 
" The Excise Officer, Babu Hari Mohun. So I am quite safe, 
"as the den is 22 feet away from the selling shop ; you may 
" measure it if you like." That is all the difference that it 
made,— that the smoking shop was removed 22 feet away 
from the selling shop. 

2781. When the order was passed it was well known 
that it would he avoided P— I am happy to be able 
to state that this confidential circular was condemned and 
cancelled and recalled by the order of the Secretary of 
State. 

2782. I wish to know what you mean when you recom- 
mend that the Government should give up a revenue 
derived from the vices of its subjects : do you mean by this 
that poppy cultivation, liquor distilling, and hemp cultiva- 
tion should be prohibited, or that they should be left 
alone P^ — It would never do to leave them alone. 

2783. What do you mean, that they should he prohi- 
bited? — Yes, prohibited. 

2784. Liquor-distilling, poppy cultivation, and hemp 
cultivation ? — Yes ; but I would say by all means that 
a sufficient quantity of opium should be grown for medicinal 
purposes. 

2785. How cotild you do that? — By restricting certain 
portions of land for the cultivation of a certain amount of 
poppy. That would he a very easy thing to do. 

2786. How would you distribute the small amount of 
opium you would allow to be produced ? Would you allow 
it to be distributed among the people p — I would supply all 
the hospitiils and medical stores with opium, and give it on 
the certificate of a medical man. 

■J787. You mean medical men trained according to 
European methods? — Native or European. They would 
give a certificate that so much opium was wanted for medi- 
cal purposes. 

2788. Do you think these certificates could he relied 
upon ? — I am afraid they could not always be relied on in 
the case of natives. 

2789. Do yoa not think that a great many people Would 
set up immediately as Yuids and HaTcims in order to get the 
power to give such certificates ?— It is possible that they 
would : but there are difficulties in every reform. 

2790. I think you would creitte a most valuable new 
profession p— It would not be as bad as the preseut system 
in use. 

2791. {Mr. Fanshawe.) I am not quite sure where your 
experience has been. Has it been in the North-Westorn Prov- 
inces P — I have lived in Agra and in Delhi, one year in 
Calcntta, ten years in ;\longhyr, and seven years in Allaha- 
bad, chiefly in the North-West Provinces. 

2792. Have you had any direct experience of the Eajputs 
and the Sikhs, who are stated at times to eat opium as a 
matter of race ? Have you had any experience of the opium 
habit among them ? — I have had no personal experience. My 
information is from what I have heard with regard to 
them, 

279.3. You know the country very well, and you know 
the practical conditions of native life : has it been your 
expcr'eiice that there is no hnhit of eating opium among 
people living in malnrious districts ? I was not quite sure 
what your views were upon that point ?— I have not 



MINUTES OP EVIDENCE. 



4,9 



observed such a practice myself, as far as my experianoe 
goes. 

2794. Do you know the Central Provinces at all P— Verv 
little. ' 

2795. Dr. Rice, Surgeon-General, speaking from thirty 
years' experience in the Central Provinces, told us that 
there was a habit of eating opium in moderate doses 
among the people living in malarious Burronndings ; in fact 
that the habit grew out of the surroundings in which they 
lived. Have you had no such experience as that P — No. 

2796. You stated that the habit is talien to in early life. 
Is that correct P — Yes. 

2797. Did you mean it to be understood that the habit 
grows up from boyhood amongst the people who are addicted 
lo the use of opium ? — What I meant is that, as a rule, 
opium is administered by poor women who are mothers to 
their children, to quiet them, and put them asleep while 
they go to work. The children grow up inoculated with 
this opium curse. 

2798. You do not mean that they begin eating or drink- 
ing opium as boysp You say that they are accustotced to 
opium as young children : do they give it up altogether, 
and take to it again, as men p — Some of them may do so. 

2799. Do you think they go on with it thiough boy- 
hood P — Yes. 

2800. I was not quite sure what you said about native 
opinion on the subject. Do yon say that native opinion 
was opposed to the use of opium generally ? — I did not make 
use of that statement. 

2801. Did you make any statement about native opinion 
generally on the subject P — I do not think I did. 

2802. What do you think about native opinion generally ; 
you have had good opportunities for observation p — What 
I think about it is this : that nitives who are given to opium 
habits, w(mld be against giving it up, but that those who 
are not yiven to opium habits, would be very glad to have 
the thing abolished. 

2803. Let us come to particulars. Would you say that 
there is any such general feeling amongst the Mahomedans 
as you know them in the North-West P — The Mahomedans 
1 found are more given to opium habits than the Hindus. 

2804. Would you say that there is a general feeling on 
their part in favour of giving opiuui up P — I think not. 

2805. What would you say is the general feeling amongst 
the village and aTricultnral people, the cultivators, on the 
subject ? — 1 think they would be in favour of abolishing it. 

2806. You spoke of the use of opium as an aphrodisiac : 
would you say that it is used as such among the villagers 
and cuitivatorB p — Not as a rule. 

2807. Would you distinguish from your experience be- 
tween opium consumption in towns and in the country out- 
side the towns ?— I would. 

2808. Would you say that the evil effect of opium is larger 
in cities than it is in towns p — Much larger. 

2809. What do you think native opinion to be with 
reference to the difference between smoking opium and 
eating or drinking it p— 1 cannot tell. 

2810 You do not know whether they regard opium- 
smoking, as practised in India, as different from opium- 
eating P — I know that there is much more opium-eating 
and drinking in India than opium-smoking. 

2811. But you do not yourself know what native opinion 
on the two points is ? — I do not. 

2812. {Mr. Mowbray.) With regard to that confidential 
circular to which you have referred, are you awire that it was 
moved for, and pre.sented to the House of Commons?— I 
am not aware of it. Is it a fact, may I ask p 

2813. You may take it from me that it is so. Then you 
are not aware either I suppose, that the subsequent corre- 
spondence with regard to that circular was laid before lar- 
liament P— No, I am not. 

2814. You have referred to some despatch from the 
Government of India, in rather stiong language. Have you 
that despatch before you P— No, I have not. 

{Mr. Mowhray.) I think it would be advisable that the 
despatch should be presented. 

(Chairman.) The Secretary will obtain a copy of that 
despatch. Perhaps you may wish to s^e it inserted in the 
appendix ? 

2815. (Mr. Mowbray.) I think it would be better that we 
should have it, and that the .story of this confidential circular 
should be completed. (To the witness.) With regard to 
your own pergonal experience, do I understand you to say 
tbftt you have found it easier to induce people in India to 



join anti-alcoholic societies than anti-opium societies ? — It 
is very much easier. 

2816. Would you draw from that the inference that 
there is a stronger feeling in favour of opium P — The con- 
clusion I diaw is, that it is harder to given up opium habits 
than drinking habits. 

2817. I suppose you would be prepared to admit that 
that would increase any difficulty in a general prohibition 
of the use of opium p — Yes. 

2818. Have you ever tried to form an idea of how you 
could prohibit the use of opium, allowing it to be used by 
those who have used it before P — I have no doubt it would 
be a very difficult work, and that it would take years to 
accomplish it. 

2819. You referred to the case of Burma: have you any 
personal knowledge of Burma? — 1 was in Burma for three 
months, three years ago. That is all. 

2820. I think the law in Burma has been altered since 
that? — That maj' be : but that was the law. 

2821. With regard to your statement that onium-smok- 
ing is more common among the Mahomedans than among 
the Hindus, do you attribute that at all to the fact that 
alcohol drinks are forbidden to the Alahomedans by their 
religion ? — I am sorry to say that though it is forbidden, 
Mahomedans in these days go in tor alcohol, drinking 
almost as freely as the Babus of Calcutta. 

2823. Do you ihink that if they were prohibited from 
taking opium, they would fall back upon alcohol? — I do 
not, as a rule : some might do it. 

2823. I do not know whether yon quite understand my 
question. My question was, whether, if you prevented 
Mahomedans getting opium, would they not take to alco- 
hol ? — It is possible that some of them might. 

2-i24. (Sir James Jjy all.) You have spol< en of associations 
for the prevention of indulgence in alcohol ; were they com- 
posed of people addicted to the use of alcohol ? — In a very 
great measure they were addicted, but some were not. The 
principal members of that association are high-caste Brah- 
mins and educated native gentlemen. 

2825. Most of them addicted to alcohol? — ^Not most of 
them : we will say about one-half. 

2826. [Mr. Wilson.) Who constitute the greater part of 
those who have j'lined these associations that you have been 
forming ? — ^Kducated Hindus, chiefly high-caste people. 

2827. Some of whom have been addicted to drink? — A 
great number of them. 

2828. Do you mean addicted in the sense of taking 
drink aid becoming intoxicated? — Yes. 

2829. And some are not addicted to drink ? — Some ai^ 
not. 

2830. Yousay about half have been addicted to drink p — 
That is only an impression. 

2831. You spoke about opium being prohibited in Native 
States? You referred to cultivation? — Yes. 

2832. Consumption of opium is not prohibited ?— Oh 
dear no. But it is British opium. 

2833. It was only cultivation that you rsferred to?— 
Cultivation is prohibited, but consumption is not. It is a 
monopoly. 

2834. You told us that in some place you were at, I 
think ilonghyr, you thought that the cultivation of the 
poppy was not popular with the natives ?— I did not find it 
popular. 

2835. Have you had that kind of testimony on several 
different occasions from different peisons p^Wbile I was 
in Monghyr, not in any other place. I have no personal 
evidence. At Gya I have heard the same thing from very 
reliable authority. 

2836. You have said that they could use their land for 
better crops ? — Yes. 

2837. Has it ever been suggested to you what crops they 
could cultivate in preference ? — The natives have found out 
recently that the cultivation of sugarcane pays far better 
than opium. Opium cultivation, to begin wiih, is very 
uncertain. If a shower of hail should fall at a certain 
time of the season it is all destroyed, and the natives lose 
in consequence. Then it requires the best of their land. 
It requires manure and a great deal of labour in collecting 
it from day to day. 

2838. The sugarcane is the chief tnmg that you 
imagine might be established ?—l should think that wheat 
would also be more valuable to the people as a rule than 

G 



Revd. 
T. Evans. 

23 Nov. 1893. 



50 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION 



Eecd. 
T. Evans. 

23 Nov. 1893. 



opium. I Diay add tliat it is not the ryots, the cultivators, 
who get the profit. 

28"u9. Who sets it P— Chiefly the Government and those 
who are between the Government and the ryots : I mean the 
under native officials. 

2S40. Of course the Government gets this Inrge revenue 
from it. You do not mean thiit the Government gets any 
other profit? — No. It purchases opium at from 4 to 5 
rupees a seer, and sells it in India for from 16 to 20 rupees. 

2841. You spoke of some of the minor oflncials getting 
backsheesh? — 1 mean the native underlings. 

2842. Are you sufficiently acquainted with the matter 
to know who those persons are and in what way backsheesh 
was given, and for what purpose? — I could not say who 
they are personally. I only give my impression from what 
I hear, viz., that they do get presents from the Opium 
Department to induce the cultivators to lay out their fields 
" poppy cultivation ; but I have no direct proof of it. 

2813. I have understood that it is a fact that these persons 
or some of them are paid partly by salary and partly by 
commission : in that case the commission would be what 
you call backsheesh ? — It may be so. 

2844. You spoke of the advances that are made to them 
being a bait ? — Yes. 

2845. And I think you had previously said that it was 
the order of the Sircar?— That is their impression. 

2846. That the order implies compulsion ? — Yes. 

2847. The bait implies inducement ? — Yes. 

2848. Do you think it is both, or which do you think 
is most potent ?— Both. I thiuk money is the most im- 
poitant part of it— the advance. 

2849. As far as its being a question of the order of the 
Sircar, do you imagine any ill-consequences would befall 
these cultivators if tliey declined tlje order ? — ilany. 

2850. Of what nature ?— The tehsildar, the native 
revenue collector, and the putwa who are over them, the 
men who are paid by the zemindars, and partly, 1 thiuk, 
by Government, to look after the produce of the fields 
and see what yield they give, — these people would so annoy 
them that they could not, exi.^t in that place. That is to 
say, they could not atford to live there ; they would be so 
annoyed. 

2851. if these minor officials are paid partly by com- 
mission, you mean they hiive a direct pecuniary interest in 
inducing people to cultivate ? — I mean that. 

2852. And you think they have some powers of 
annoyance which amount to compulsion p— Of that I am 
sure. 

'2853. {Sir James Zyall.) "fou «aid the tehsildar ?— Yes. 

2854. The teh.sildar has nothing lo do with the Opium 
Department ? — Mo, he has to do with the revenue of land. 

2855. Is it priibable that the tehsildar wculd take the 
trouble to annoy these people? — I cannot say. 

2So6. But you have said so ? — I do not remember that 
I said that the tehsildar interferes directly with opium 
affairs. I say that he would have power if he wishes to 
annoy them. 

2857. But he has nothing to do vfith the Department f 
— That I cannot tell. 

2858. (Ml'. Wilson.\ Upon that point do I understand 
distinctly that you have yourself conversed with the 
cultivators in the district of iVIonghyr? — ^Yes. 

2859. And that from oue and another you have had 
this impression ? — Yes. 

2860. Whether you could produce individuals or not, 
/ou have in your mind a very strong' belief ?— The men to 
whom I spoke may now be dead and gone; [could not 
produce them as evidence. 

2861. With regard to the question put to you by Sir 
.James Lyall, whatever this tehsildar is, he would have no 
direct connection with the matter; but it is in the minds 
of the people that in some way or another they would 
suffer: is that it? — I wish to make this statement, that 
any request made by a Government official, whether it be 
a European or Native, comes to the ryots of India as an 
order. They look upon it as a " hukom" (order). It 
means command of the Sircar, and they are afiaid to 
disobey it. 

2862. What I want to know is, if the tehsildar has not 
direct connection with the opium, is it your impression 
tiiat the people believe in some way or another that he 
can exercise some aiino)!>nce also?— He would' no doubt 
if he wished to do so; but whetLer he would do .so or not 
1 cannot tell. 



2863. Do you think the people think so ?— Oh yes, no 
doubt of it. 

2864. Now about the dens. You read us part of a 
diary. Can you give us the date of that? — Dacca, 
Bengal, .January 1 3th, 1893. 

2865. Do you happen to know whether that was before 
or after the oancelUtion of the circular?— 1 think it was 
before the cancellation. 

2866. You are not quite certain about that?— I am not 
quite decided. 

2867. Do you know whether the cancellation of the 
circular was publicly notified in that part of the country ?— 
1 cannot tell. 

2868. {Sir James Lyall.) The circular did not apply to 
that part of the country ?— It did not apply to Bengal : it 
was a North- West Provinces circular. 

2869. (.1/r. Wilson.) Do you understand why the 22 feet 
was specially mentioned ? — I cannot tell. 

2870. Is that an Indian measure or anything of that 
lsi„(ip_l do not know that it is ; but that is the measure 
which the man gave me. He said, •' When I got a license, 
I was told that the smoking den must be removed 22 
feet from the selUng shop." 

2871. But you do not know whether the 22 feet is 
or is not a measure, or a multiple of any Jnd'au 
measure ? — I do not know ; I do not think it is, as far as 
1 know. 

2872. Did I understand you to say that this place, 
where they were smoking, was on the other side of the 
street?— On the other side of the road. There was a 
lane and the shoo was on one side of the road, and the 
smoking deu was on the other side of the road, 22 feet olf. 

2873. Did you ascertain the rent in each instance ? — 
I did, and the name of the people. 

'2874. Did you find that these places were let to the 
same man ? — Yes, let to the same man. 

2875. Do you know whether this den had been used for 
the same purpose previously ? — I do not know. 

2876. (Mr. Pease.) Were there any women or youths 
in this opium den, as well as adults? — There weie 
no women in the den when 1 saw it: there were so ne 
young people. 1 asked them if women came there, 
and they said, "One bad woman comes here in the 
evening." 

"2877. You alluded to the pressure which you rep:e- 
sented as being jnit upon the ryots by the Government ; 
do the zemindars in any way interfere with the ryots as 
to the crop they cultivate, or put any pnssure upon them 
as to what the ciops should be ? — I have no doubt they 
do. The land belongs to the zemindars. It is only sub-let 
to the ryots. The zemindar is all powerful over the ryots. 

2878. What would the zemindar's object be? — Per- 
haps he would have more profit by the cultivation of 
opium than he would make by other cultivations. 

2879. Would you be able to make it a condition of 
letting the land that the poppy should be grown ? — I 
cannot tell : I doubt that. 

2880. (Sir iniliam Roberls.) I think yon said that 
you had been for over thirty years in India? — Yes. 

2881. Jlixing very freely with the population ?— i'es. 

2882. With which classes of society would you mostly 
mix ? — I have mixed much more among Hindus than 
among Mahomedans. 

2883. You have mixed equally among the better classes, 
the commercial classes as ^\ell as the poor and distressed ? 
— Yes, 

2884. What is your impression as to what we may call 
the distribution of the oi iuui-eatinsr habit ; it is very 
common auuui;; ilussulmans and Hindus ? — It is mire 
common among .Mussulmans than Hindus. 

2885. What proportion of the adult Mussulman popu- 
lation do you think would eat oiiium p — That is a question 
to which 1 cannot jjive a precise answer, but I think I 
shall be safe in saying 25 or 30 per cent, 

2886- Would it be more among the upper or the hwer 
classes that opium-eating would be found '( — I think it is 
more among the upper classes, because they can afford it 
better. 

2887. It did not injure them very much so far as you 
saw, I suppose ? — I did not see the evil effects of it upoU 
them. 

2888. You have been in the country a veiy longtime. 
With regard to the prevalence of opium-smokiug as 



MINUTES 05 EVIDENCE. 



51 



distinguished from opium-eating, what is your impression ? 
Is opimft-smokini; raoie pievalent now tlian when vou caine 
into tbe country ?— Recently opium-smoking has "been put 
down by order of the Government, and thnt has diminished 
it somewhat : but belore that, however, it was increasing. 

2889. When you 6rst came to India and mixed with the 
people you did not find opium-amoking So common P-^No. 

2890. You are clear upon that point P — Yes. 

2891. You have no facts to give us ? — I have not ; but 
Ojirim-eating and dvinliiiig is much more prevalent in 
India tlian opiuui-smolsing. 



2893. Your impression is clear -with regard to the 
smolcing habit — that is, smoking chandu. Do they make 
chandu in Indin P— Yes, it is simply boiled opium, with a 
little of the ash of tlie opium that lias been consumed in 
the pipe, which is tailed insi. They boil it for hours. I 
have seen the whole process. 

2893. I'hey use it fresh from the caldron in which it is 
boiled P— Yes. 

2891. They do not keep it ?— No, they use it there in 
the den. 

2895. Eight off ?— Yes. 



Sevd. 
T. Evana. 

23 Nov. 1893. 



The witness withdrew. 



Mr. J. H. Rivett-Cabnao, C.I.E., P.S.A., Colonel oi' VoLtrNTBBEs, and A.-D.-C. to Hbe Majesty, ca,l;ed 

in and examined. 



2896. {Chairman.) I believe you have some documents 
you wish to put in ? — Yes, I have some papers I wish to put 
in under orders of the Government. They are notes on the 
supply oO opium prepiired under the orders of the liovern- 
meiit of Bengal, and two maps — one showing the cultiva- 
tion and the outturn in the Behar Agency, and the other in 
the Benares Agency. They have been coloured in such a 
way as to give the Commission an idea of the extent of the 
cultivation and of the outturn. Gieen represents the 
cultivation drawn to scale ; red shows the outturn diawn 
to scale. 

2897. You are a member of the Indian Civil Service, as I 
understand, and you have held the position of Opium Agent 
at Benares ?— Yes, I have been for thirty-five years in the 
Indian Civil Service. 

2898. You have held a variety of official appointments 
in India P — Yes. 

2899. For the last eighteen years I believe you have 
been in charge of the lienares Opium Agency ? — 1 have. 

2900. You have had very long service and have held 
high positions in this country p You have had tlie oppor- 
tunity of forming your own judgment upon the question 
which has been referred to the consideration of this Com- 
mission, and perhaps the most inipoitant part of our 
inquiry is as to the alleged demoralising effects of the 
opium habit: /have you iiny observations to give us from 
your long experience as to the effects of the opium habits 
upon those who resort to its practice P — I would say that 
no cases of the demoralizing effects of the opium habit 
have come under my personal notice. 

2901. Dealing with different classes, what do you say as 
to the cultivation of opium and the members of jour 
factory establishment ?— Opium cultivators, so far as my 
observatuin goes, do not indulge as a class ; but 1 would 
say. in explanation of that, that one has not very much 
opportunity of ascertaining when one sees people during 
one's tours or at the weigl.meiits or at the opium settlements. 
Unless one is a medical man and can examine them no con- 
elusion can be arrived at. One cannot tell from the look of 
a man whether he is an opium-consumer. 

2902. (.V^-. Pease.) When you use the word indulge, do 
you mean a person who consumes opium at all or a per.son 
who consumes it to excess ?— I should say a large uumber 
do not use it at all. That is, as far as my knowledge and 
observations go. 1 cannot pretend to speak with any au- 
thority as to the proportion of men who do or do not use it, 
or t) the extent of the use. 

2903. (Chairman.) The factory establishment, I under- 
stand, numbers about 4,000 workmen and wom.n : what do 
you say about that P-The factory establishment is generally 
presided over by a medical man. I have conslaotiy 
niade inquiries from him as to whether the nien in the 
establishment use opium or not, and I have been invariably 
told that they do not as a class. Undoubtedly there are 
some cases, but the number of cases, as a rule, is tew. >o 
cases have been brought to my notice of men who use it to 
excess, or, in fact, who use it at all. 

2904. Turning to large cities, what is the result of jour 
observationsP-I have re.ason to believe, in fact to know, 
that th" opium habit does exist in large cities ; but my 
information has always been that it is an accompaniment, 
and generally a consequence, of many varieties of vice. 

2905. (Sir James Lyall) Do you mean excessive use ?— 
Yes. exres-sive use. 



Mr. 

J. E. Miveil- 

Carnac, 

C. I. E.; 

F. S. A.; 

A.-D.-C. 



2906. {Chairman.) With regard to the people v ith -whom 
you have been in close personal contact —your own servants — 
what have you to say about themp I understand you have 
had experience in the management of a transport train 23 Nov. 1893. 

when you were seiTing as Special Commissioner on the 

Bengal Famine Kelief in 1875 : what do you say is the 

result of your experience P — In the case of my own servants, 
I had, and have at the present moment, a servant who is 
an opium-eater : my other servants tell me so. On one 
occasion we happened to be in camp in the Punjab, when 
the Viceroy received the present Amir of Afghanistan. I 
was taken up there on staff of the Commaiider-in-Chiet'. 
We bad extraordinary and exceptioual weather : it poured 
with rain much of the time. We were very far north in 
a very cold climate. Both Europeans and natives, especially 
the latter, felt the effects of the change of weather very 
severely. My servant who smolted opium was with me, 
and he was the (mly man who really stood the great incon- 
venience and distress of the weather. That is the opIj' case 
that has come under my peisoualofiservation, 

2907. You were speaking of a transport train. — With 
regard to the transport train, I had the honour to he 
Special Commissioner on the Bengal Famine Relief in 
1875. There were a large number of carts and mules and 
ponies used to carry the grain down from the North- Wo.-tem 
Provinces to Behar. I had to see to the transport and 
distribution of the grain. The Commander-in-Chief gave 
a large numb-ir of troops — several hundred — to man the 
trains. There were about 6fty Kuropeau military ofticers 
employed in the work. Duiing that time I constantly saw 
men, troops and sepoys, who, 1 was informed, took opium. 
We had occasionally very had weather, and these men often 
had very trun;? times of it : they had to work very hard. 
1 have no personal experience of opium and no medical 
knowledge ; but I was informed by the officers under 
whom these men worked that several took opium, and 
that the opium helped them through their troubles. 

2908. Were you making a long mirch ? — Yes; they had 
often not only to make long marches, hut they had to get 
carts that had broken down out of the mire, and re-load 
mules that had thrown off their packs, and so on. The 
weather sometimes was very had, and it was most difficult 
and tiring work, — very trying work. Indeed, it was 
acknowledged by Government afterwards to be very trying 
work. 

2909. Dnring the labours of the expedition, do you 
consider that the men who took opium seemed to he forti- 
fied for the work they had to do?— Yes; so far as my 
information went, it certainly helped some of them through 
their troubles. 

2910. We have heard a good deal from other witnesses 
with reference to the administration of opium to young 
people ; have you -inything to say upon that point?— My 
evidence upon that point. I am afraid, cannot be of any 
value : I do not wish to take up the time of the Commis- 
sion with reference to it, but 1 may mention I understand 
that there are many affectionate and devoted Indian mothers 
who administer opium to their young children in small 
quantities, which would seem to indicate that the use of 
the drug is not believed to be injurious. I only mention 
that as being the popular view of the subject; whether it is 
correct or not I do not pretend to say. 

•2911. Do you desire to offer any observation.s with 
reference to the appointment of a Royal C'oinmission to 
make inquiries into the opium question at this particular 

G 2 



52 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



Mr. J. H. 

Kivett- 
Carnnc, 

C. I. U.; 

F. 8. A.; 

A.-B.-C. 



juncture ?— Yes ; I should like to be allowed to say that 
I leave the service almost immediately, and in a very short 
time now I shull be no lonfjer an official: I there foreshould 
like to speak rather as an outsider than as an official. 

2912. I am aware that your service in India was 
specially extended for a short time in order that you might 

23 Nov. 1893. have the opportunity of putting us in uossessiou of the 
views of one in your exceptional position and long ex- 
perience in the matters with which we have to deal. I 
believe I am correct in saying that I owe it to your Lord- 
ship that I am here to-day. I may explain that it is 
quite evident that I could have left the country and the 
.service before the Commission arrived, aud I could then 
have escaped perhaps a not very easy duty, but I preferred 
to remain hei'e and give such information as the Commission 
may require. 

2913. Have you anything to say with reference to the 
appointment of this Commi-sion p I am quite prepared 
to take what you say as coming practically from a person 
no longer holding an official position. — Perhaps I may be 
allowed to state that my position has been ratlier excep- 
tional for a great number of years. I have not been in 
the l.ne of the regular administrative service. During the 
last eiijhteen and a half years my app'dntment has rather 
been that of a merchant managing a large fiim |iaid by Gov- 
ernment. I do not think anyone would accuse me of being 
what is called over-official in my views. 1 desire to 
say that wh.it I put forward now t do not put forw.ird as 
an official, but as one who is just about to leave India, and 
has absolutely no personal or official interest in the maiter 
at all. Under these ciioumstances I desire to be allowed 
to .say that as a tax-payer, and aa one having a stake in 
the solvency and tranquillity of this country, 1 regret the 
inquiry by a Commission in India at this stage, holding 
that no case has as yet been made out, by indispensable and 
exhaustive inquiry and convincing evidence in China, that 
the results of the trade are as injurious and demoralising 
as represented by the anti-opium party. The feeling of 
many here is that, to risk unsettling India now, and to 
incur expense by the presence of an inflaential Commission, 
which is popularly believed to threaten interference with 
the use of the drug in India, and to menace a valuable 
source of revenue, to which the people have been for a^es 
accustomed, and which they regard with satisfaction, is 
unnecessary, unfair, and impolitic, if not, indeed, possibly 
dangerous. It is not unlike placing a man on his defence 
for murder, and involving him in all the expense ami 
anxiety of a criminal prosecution, even before the death of 
the supposed victim has been substantiated by necessary 
evidence. I desire to say that this is the opinion which 
has been put before me by a large number of persons with 
whom I have been in communication. To a large extent I 
concur in those views. What has been put to nie by a 
great many who are interested is, that it would have been 
right that the investigation of the Commbssion should first 
have been made in China and that a really good cnse 
ought to have been proved, before any risk was undergone 
of possibly disturbing the finances and the feeling of the 
people in India. 

2914. You have explained your positit n to be that of a 
civil servant of Ions; experience, and who is on the eve of 
retirement. 1 take it, we may infer from that that you 
have no personal interests in the maintenance of the 
present system ? — Absolutely none except my pension. 

2915. Supposing the present system of the Bengal 
monopoly were abolished, do you think it might possibly 
insure t» your advantage? — -I believe that if the anti-opium 
party carry the attack on the monopoly, I should, for the 
very first time in my life, be within measurable dis- 
tance of making a fortune. If they do not, retiring as 
I do as an Opium Agent after nearlj* 19 years' service, my 
experience is worth absolutely nothing. If, on the other 
hand, the anti opium party could have persuaded, or even 
now can persuade, the Government to do away with the 
monopoly, and to put on a pass duty as in Malwa, I 
believe there would be many opium companies formed 
at once, and I have no doubt that I should he able to 
realize a veiy large sum of money as a promoter and possi- 
bly as .Managinsr l.)ireclor; and that tho commercial value 
of my experience would b" considerable, in being able to 
sel'Ct ofBeers from the Kuropean and Native staff to work 
for those companies. 

2916. In a certain degree, all those employed by Govern- 
ment for working the monopoly would he in the same ad- 
vantageous position ? — That is my belief. 

2917. As to the monopoly system, have ym any remarks 
to offer whii'h you cnnsidei' a vindication of tie system 



which is now adopted by the Government in Bengal ? — I 
understand that the system and the working of the mono- 
poly are not so much assailed as its principle. Evidence 
as to the satisfactory working of the Dep a-tment should 
perhaps come not from the Department itself but from 
the outside, and I believe that the whole body of officials 
and non-otiicials residing in the tracts to which the mono- 
poly extends, the Goveinment of the North- Western I'rov- 
inces, the planters, merchants, and the cultivators them- 
selves, would all bear witness to the careful, considerate 
and sncces.sful working of the Department. Complaints 
have indeed been made by the cultivators to the highest 
authority against the Agent personally. Several petitions 
were submitted to Her Majesty the Queeu-Empress 
agaiust me. 

2918. What was the charge brought against you P— It 
was the only occasion on which a serious complaint was 
brought against me. It was not for attempting to fone 
cultivation, but because I had, under the orders of Gov- 
ernment, restricted the cultivation in certain districts. 
These petitions were addressed to Her Majesty, aud were 
sent out here for disposal. 

2919. [Mr. Pease.) Would you kindly say whose peti- 
tions they were p — I'hev were the petitions of cei-tain 
cultivators who were desirous of coutinuing to sow 
poppy, and were indignant at not being permitted to do so. 

2920. (Chairman.) It is stated in some of the Parlia- 
mentary Papers, which have been placed before us, that in 
the view of some there is a certain compulsion exercised upon 
the cultivators to induce them to extend the area under the 
P'ippy. Have you anything to say upon tbatp I think, per- 
Iiaus, what you were going to tell us as to the circumstances 
which led to those petitions would have a bearing upon 
that ? — I am prepared to say unhesitatingly that official com- 
pulsion to cultivate the poppy is unheard of. I am talking 
of my own part of the world, the agencj- to which I be- 
long ; but I have no doubt that it applies equally else- 
where. The district administrative staff, by which I mean 
the Collectors and his subordinates, take no part in the 
operations of the Opinm Department. I quite understand 
that any evidence of n ine on this point may be looked 
upon with some suspicion after what has been said with 
regard to official evidence ; but I have no doubt that there 
will be absolutely noditiiculty inthe Commission obtaining 
full independent evidence upon this head ; but still I affirm 
that compulsion in the North- West Piovinces is unheard of. 

2921. When we visit the districts we shall hear more of 
it, no doubt. Have yon any remarks to offer about the 
system of advances? — The cultivator is undoubtedly en- 
couraged to sow with the assistance of ailvances ; but this 
system, save that the advance hi ars no interest, is identical 
with that which has been found necessary from time im- 
memorial in indigo and in almost eveiy similar trans- 
action with the Indian culiivator, or manufacturer, who 
has little or no capital at command. With reference to 
the point about there being no interest charged, 1 think it 
may be a question whether inierest is charged or not. 
No interest appears in the books, but the Government pay 
a certain price, that is to say, a, price they consider suffi- 
cient for the purpose, and it may be a questimi whether 
that price is not calculated so as to cover the interest. I 
may put it in this way. A tradesman sells you an article. 
He possibly does not tell you be is charging interest, but 
if he knows you aie not likely to pay at once he will 
possibly put something on the price. In the same way 
it seems to me very possible that Government may sav 
" We would five R5-8 if it was not for tho interest ; but 
we will give the cultivator B5 a seer only and that will 
cover the interest." 

2922. Now I turn to the objections which have been 
advanced to the monopoly system. It has been objected 
to on economical grounds and on moral grounds. Eirst 
we will take the economical objection. Will you tell us 
the economical arguments which are urged against the 
monopoly system, and give us what you think are answers 
to those arguments p— I realize fully that the position is 
open to attack on economic grounds, that the monopoly is 
declared to be un-Knglish and ouposed to all the prineipKs 
of free trade, and that the tax is cru.shing in its inci- 
denee. 1 here are also certain other economic "objections to 
a revenue fioin opium, which do not directly ' affect the 
question of the monopoh, and which do liot call for 
detailed notice here I may mention that I am now attempt- 
ini: to defend the monopoly or rather the Departmental 
system, with which I am concerned, and which is but an 
outwork of the main position, and so it is unnecessary 
to bring in all the other economical objections ■which in 
no way al'ect the Depart.neutal sy.stein. ' One well-knowu 



MINUTES OF H.VIDENCB. 



53 



objection, fof iiislaiice, ia Ihnt it is not a wise thing foi' Gov- 
ernment to depend upon opium revenue at all, n tax wliich 
is levied upon people outside its bonndaries. Taldng briefly 
the economic olijfctions to the position with which I am 
immediately concerned, tbe speculator baa undoubtedly the 
serious grievance that what he considers a mine of wealth 
is closed to liim ; whilst the mercliant complains that the 
severest poesible export duty is imposed, tlius checUinu 
the development of the trade. M.my tax-payers hold thai 
the Goyerument does not malte the most of the splendid 
capabilities of a prolific source of revenue, which could be 
largely increased without touching those resident here, and 
that thus the tax- payer is not so much relievid as he might 
be, whilst the Government foregoes a revenue which niiglit 
be utilised in much-needed development, adviinoing tlie 
material progress of the country. The cultivator, too, sup- 
poses that if the trade were tlirown open, he might obtain 
11 m.uch hiuher price for his produce than he now receive*. 

2923. Turning to, the objection on the moral ground, do 
you consider that the monopoly system tends more to 
restriction of tbe trade tlian would a system of free 
trade p — In my opinion it does, and, so far as I can asce • 
tain, that view is now geuerally accepted by the auti- 
opium party. For a long time, so far as one can judge 
trom its publications, the Society seems to have consider- 
ed the monopoly the key of the position, and the attacks 
seemed to be directed against the outwork I have tbe honour 
to command. But so far as I can leavn from what has pass- 
ed lately before the Royal Commission, that atlack is 
jierbaps likely to be diverted : but still I tliink it would be 
right for me to shew what is the defence of that position. 

2924. I believe it has been publicly stated by those 
who represent the movement which led to the appointment 
of the Commission, that they do not themselves distinguish 
from a moral point of view seriously between the Bengal 
monopoly and the system which prevails in Malwa. The 
Bengal monopoly has however been singled out for criticism 
in England, and if tbe Government of India, speaking 
through you, desire to make an explanation of the working 
of that system, and to offer any remarks in vindication, 
1 erhaps it is fair that they should be put upon record p — 1 
should like to do so. I understood from Mr. Alexander's 
evidence that those who attack the monopoly had to a certain 
extent changed front. 

2925. It is directed against the whole traffic. — I under- 
stand that some of those who oppose the monopoly on moral 
grounds hold the strongest objection to the direct connec- 
tion of the Government with the trade, and, bad as they 
consider the trade under any conditions, would much prefer 
what is known as the A5alwa system to that now obtaining 
ill these provinces, I believe that the Society has since 
changed that opinion. Some, 1 think, still hold it. An 
examination of exi-iting conditions will, it is hoped, establish 
the fact that the monopoly affords the most effective meacs 
of keeping the consumption in India and the foreign trade 
iu check, and that the economic objections raised to the 
system are the strongest proof of the existence of well- 
considered restrictive measures. Sir B. Baling (Lord 
Cromer) pointed out that, in direct proportion as the 
economic objections to the monopoly might be removed, the 
moral objections would be intensified in degree. The Gov- 
ernment has, during a long series of years, tailed to remove 
these economic objtctions, and serious though they may be 
In the eyes of those interested, their maintenance protects 
1 he interests on tbe opposite side. The monopoly system 
is, in fact, a comproiniso between throwing open the trale 
to the puijlic and prohibiting the trade altogether. If, then, 
the cultivation and trade in opium be not altogether 
prohibited, the monopoly should receive the strongest 
support of the anti-opium party. 

(Chairman.) I understand that the monopoly system ia 
not a system of recent introduction, that it is an inheritance 
from the distant past. Perhaps with the same object 
with which you have already given explanations as 
to the monopoly system, it may be desirahle to pbice up' n 
the notes a concise statement of tbe history of the question. 

2926. (Sir James Lt/all.) Yon are merely giving your 
own evidence ; you have no commission to speak for the 
(iovernment of India?— Not in the least J was ordered 
to come as a witness. I am giving ray own opinion only. 

(Chairman.) He is ordered here by the Government of 
India. 

( Witness.) These are only my own views : they are not 
the views put forward by the Government. 

In the note )>resented, under the orders of the Govern- 
ment of Bengal, to the Commission, it is indicated that full 
iiilbrniation regarding the history of 'he opiim t'-ade and of 
the monopoly "ill be found in the Hictionary cf Ken nnc 



1893. 



Products of India, by Dr. "Watt,- and in the Ist Volume of Mr. 
the Report by the Bengal Opium Commission. Although J.K, Rivett- 
it is undesirable to burden this abstract with any Carnao, 
detailed account of this history, it appears necessary, C. I. IE.; 
before explaining what are oon.«idered the merits of the F. S. A.; 
monopoly now existing, to invite attention to the A.D-C. 
circumstances under which the present system in this „ .^ 
country grew up under native rule and was later admitted ' °^ 
in a modified form into our revenue system, and thus to 
attempt to dispel the prejudice against the system founded 
on eei'tain incorrect notions of the supposed original inven- 
tion by the Government of the monopolv. It is popularly 
supposed that the cultivation of, and trade in, opium was 
introduced into India by the East India Company ; that 
these British traders first imposed the use of the drug on 
the many nations of this country, then upon the Chinese, 
and that the opium monopoly is one of the many sins debit- 
able to the commercial greed of the defunct East India 
Company. No views could he much wider from the truth 
than these- The cultivation of the poppy and the trade in 
the drug are traceable to times far anterior to our connec- 
tion with this country. The Portuguese found the Arabs 
and Hindus trading in opium with the Chinese and Malays. 
The earliest British merchants, who were a hundred years 
after tbe Portuguese, found these, together with the Dutch 
and others, engaged in a remunerative commerce in opium 
with the Straits and further Asia. Under the Moguls, our 
predecessors in the Government, opium, like salt, was an 
Imperial monopoly. Although, as in the case of other 
valuable crops such as sugar and tobacco, a special rate was 
generally levied on the fields, the poppy was cultivated 
everywhere in Bengal without restriction, as we found it 
later in Assam, and as, until recently, was the case in the 
Punjab. Bengal opium, from the tracts to which the mono- 
poly now extends, had a high repute, and was a valuable 
article of commerce. The riglit to manufacture and sell the 
drug was farmed out to the highest bidder. When the East 
India Company .took over the administration of Bengal they 
took over with it tbe existing revenue systems of which the 
monopoly was one. As Dr. Watt notices, in his valuable 
work above alluded to, the monopoly is " a hereditary gift 
" to the British successors of the Great Mogul Emperors." 
The Mogul system continued in force until i797, when, in 
consequence of the flagrant irregularities of the contractors, 
and the serious grievances of the cultivators, the deteriora- 
tion of the drug and the danger to the trade by adulteration 
and other causes, it was determined to abandon the contract 
system, and to bring the cultivation and manufacture under 
tjie direct management of a Government department on the 
system which has obtained ever since. The system as it at 
present exists is, then, no grasping invention of the greed 
of tbe East India Company, but one of those judicious 
adaptations of existing methods to the circumstances and 
interests of the country and the people, which have ever 
been the secret of our administrative success in India. 

2927. I think that seems to complete the historical re- 
view which from one witness or another I thought it Was 
desiiable we should obtain. Turning to the practical 
result of the monopoly system as it affects the various in- 
terests more directly concerned, as regaids the cultivator, 
what do you sayp — As regards the cultivator the advan- 
tages claimed for the system are that he is now safeguarded 
from the many troubles to which experience has shewn he 
was subjected in the past. To him is ensured fair deal- 
ing, an advance when he most requires cash, a fixed p.nd 
remunerative price, and a solvent and certain purchaser for 
bis entire crop, besides many minoradvantages, all of which 
combine to make tbe cultivation undoubtedly popular. 
His interests are guai'ded by an experienced and considerate 
department, the members of which have no selBsb interest 
in results, and whose sj'rapathy can be relied on in a season 
of failure and distress. 

I may mention I find that in the Behav Agency some few 
of the officials receive a commission, and are thus re- 
muneratfd by results- But this is not the case in the 
Benares Agency. 

The system is a security to the landlord for his rents 
to the (tovernment for its land revenue, in the districts 
where the poppy is cultivated. The Government system 
detects and checks the adulteration of the produce, and 
ensures a high quality of drug and standard of manufacture. 
and a high price which the rich alone can afford to p^y. 
It provides for the Government a considerable, and, on the 
wholej steady revenue, the pressure of which, save so far as 
local excise is coicerned, in no way touches its Indian 
subjects. Taxation is relieved thereby, and the material 
progress of the country rendered less difficult. 

2P28 J^iv \^■i^iam Muir and others have urged that in 
Bengal the Mnlwa syste'n might, with nuich advantage, be 



54. 



INDIAN OPltlM COMMISSIOiV 



Mr. subatitiiled for the moiiopoly system ; what in your vii'W 
J. H. liii-eK- would be the probable operation of tiie Malwa system if it 
Ciininr, were applied to lienfjal? — The probable results would be 
(' T. Ji.\ the increase of cultivation, production, iind opium consump- 
F. S. .!.; tion in India and elsewhere. The area available for food- 
A.-D.-C. grains would be reduced. Powerful and influential vested 
o., -.j""^ intere.sts would trrow up. The culiivation and trade might 

• thus get entirely out of hand, and could only be checked by 
a ovushin;; export duty, which the povverful trading in- 
terests that would be created might successfully oppuse. 

Tlie cultivator would suffer by the chaiii;e. The trade 
would be highly speculative ; the trader mii.'ht not be able 
ti> afford to give a steady price, and might fail altogether in 
u, year of dilficultj'. The cultivator would, in all probability, 
be aj;ain exposed to many of the dangers the removal of 
which was one of the objects of the introduction of the 
present system. The Government revenue would undergo 
certain risk and disorder, possibly great loss, wliilst, at 
least, uncertainty would be introduced into the finances, 
which in the present state of the country would be most 
undesirable and unwise. 

2929. How would you compare the system of deriv. 
ing revenue fiom exnort duty with the profits obtainable 
by the i>ales which periodically take place at Calcutta where 
opium is sold by auction to tiie merchants p — In iny oninion 
an export duty cuinot be compared in efficiency with the 
auctioti sales, which automatieally adjust monthly the liighest 
possible rate of duty, and ag;dust which, as the price rises 
and falls, there can be no cause for uncertainty or complaint, 
IS is now always the case when the pass duty is altered. 

2930. What would be the results as to revenue? — 
It would be impossible to levy a duty on Bengal opium 
equal to that now raised by the monopoly. The present 
iVlalwa duty falls much below that whirli Bengal opium 
viitually pays. That this is the case is proved by the 
success of the " Malwa Excise Seheme " introduced hy my- 
self. I may mention in explanation that a table was drawn 
up many years au'O shewing the incidence of the duty. 
A chest of Benares opium sold a few days ajjo at the Board 
of Itcvenue for Rs. 1,086. By this calculation made in 
the Financial Department under Sir .lohn Stra'diey some 
years airo, it appears that when a Bengal chest realizes 
B.S. 1,073 (that is, Rs. 15 less than our chest sold for the 
uther day), the equivalent pass duty in Malwa is Rs. 900. 
At present Malwa is paying Rs. 600 a chest, so thai 
practically the Government gets Es. 300 less for the Malwa 
than for the Bengal chest. 

2931. Do you see any special difficulty arising from tho 
sircum.stanoes of Bengal in preventins; smuggling? — 
Extensive and expensive preventive estahllshmeuts would 
Du necessary ; a poition of the existing establishment would 
tiave to be pensioned ; both involving expense. The stand- 
a-d of manufacture would proliabV fall; the mark and 
credit of the produce would be affected. China would be 
inundated with inferior opium, and the trade would eventu- 
ally suffer. There would be a boon in speculation and great 
inducements to smngsling accompanied by all its well- 
known certain demoralising results. The change could do 
absolnlelv no good to the cause of morality. It would do 
certain harm to India by unsettling and re.lucing the reve- 
nue, and by necessitating increised taxation, which, under 
any circumstances, is undesirable, hat especially in the fur- 
therance of views the correctness of which is not acknow- 
ledo-ed by the Indian tax-payers, and with which they have 
but little sympathy. 

2932. Do you see any analogy between the system which 
you have been defendinir and what is called the Gothenburg 
system for the supply of liquors ? — Supposing that system 
to exist in Kngland, it would be out of the questiim to 
believe thf.t the advocates of temperance would, with a view 
to the ultimate prohibition of the trade, desire to see the 
system give way to one which would throw the tiade into 
the hands of the brewers and the publicans and other influ- 
ential opponents, with whom the battle would have to he 
fought out at a later stage, when immense vested in- 
terests had been established. It is the argument quoted 
by Mr. Alexander as having been brought forward by the 
late Cardinal Manning, that it was much better to have one 
neck to strike at instead of a hundred. When I prepared 
the notes on which my answers are based, I did not know 
that the Anti-Opium Society had changed front to a certain 
extent in respect to the monopoly. 

2933. You have presented your mature vieas on the 
question, and I do not see that they are less importatit 
because there has been some difference of view on the part 
of the representatives of the Anti-Opium Association. We 
have to consider and compare the views of experienced men 
on the one side with the views and facts put forward by 
men who have strong convictions on the other side ? — I only 



wish to mention that my notes were prepared some time 
before that point came up. 

2934. Have you any general remarks to make on the 
moral aspect of the question ? —As regaxds the moral stigma 
that is supposed by some to attach to the Government 
and to its servants from their direct connection with the 
monopoly, it is to be remembered that neither the Govern- 
ment nor its officers, nor indeed the mass of thinking 
people in Europe, to say nothing of the population of India, 
have as yet been convinced ol the correctness of the views 
put forward by the anti-opium party. As I have said be- 
fore, we are open to conviction. If a Cominission were to sit 
in China, and produce the most convincing evidence, possibly 
the views of many Government officers would he changed. 
But at present we have no such oonvii'cini; evidence. We 
have a certain number of statements, some of which are be- 
lieved to be not perfectly accurate, and some of which are 
said to be exaggerated, in re^iard to China ; and we have 
evidence before our eyes of what is going on in India. It, 
can hardly be expected until we have convincing evideiu-e 
of the ill-effects in China that we should be inclined to give 
np a system which has long lu'evailed here, and which 
undoubtedly has done a certain amount of good to the 
country. 

2935. But you would be prepared to modify yi ur 
opinion in deference to any well-ascertained lacts? — I do 
not pretend to speak for the Government; I speak for my- 
self; but supposing the most convincing evidence were 
produced, I have no doubt that a great many persons here 
would modify their views. What I hold is that up to the 
present time no such convincing evidence has been 
produced. 

2936. You opened with some remarks on what may be 
called the politio.il consideiations connected with the ap- 
pointment of this Commission. I do not know whether, 
in closing your evidence-in-chief, you would like to say any^ 
thing further on that point. — I shall be glad to add some 
remarks on that subject, because 1 have been for some time 
past in the districts in which, as the Commission may be 
aware, there has been distinct trouble recently. I have 
lived for 85 years in India. I came out after the Mutiny, 
which had been suppressed in the part of India to which I 
was posted. This year, for the first time since the Mutiny, 
there have been European troops marching about in all 
the districts in which I now serve. The present is an ex- 
ceptional time; and commandinir, as I have the honour to 
do, the volunteers in those districts, and being in commu- 
nication with a large body of Europeans in the districts, and 
going about a great deal, I have had many opportunities of 
knowing and seeing that the state of the country is not as 
satisfactory as it has been tor some years past. For that rea- 
son I cannot help regretting that anything should now be done 
which may possibly fui-ther unsettle the people. I desire to 
invite the attention of all who are interested in India to the 
political danger which may attend the anti-opium agitation. 
The present season is specially inopportune for any action 
which may cause misapprehension and anxiety throughout the 
country, ludian finance is just now at ebb-tide. The political 
barometer is not steady. Although the views and motives and 
the unselfish aims of those earnest and devoted men who 
lead the Association are understood and honoured, even by 
those of their coiratrymen who do not agree with them, 
still it is not to be expected that these aims will be equally 
apprehended and appreciated by the masses in India whose 
interests will be affected by any change in existini; 
systems. The reform demanded comes before the Indian 
public with the strong support of various Missionary and 
Relis;io\is Societies, whose action is often regarded hy 
the natives of this country with suspicion and distrust. 
One of the reasons advanced for the prohibition of the 
Indian opium trade is the obstacle offered thereby lo 
Missionary success in China, and it is sometimes urged that, 
in the interests of Christian progress, the Government here 
is bound to take action even at a great sacrifice of revenue'. 
Admitting, for the sake of .argument, that the case against 
opium has been conclusively made out, which few in India 
will accept, and supposing the above contention to he 
entirely correct from a Christian standpoint, it is to be 
remembered that the people who would sufl^er by the chano-e 
have not as yet accepted the tenets on which this aro-ument 
is foimded, and are not interested in the progress of 
Christianity in China or elsewhere. What niay poslibly be 
regarded by the masses as a taxation in the interests of 
Christianity in China, may also be viewed with stispicion as 
only the first step towards similar efforts in India, and the 
entire reversal of those piomisos and that judicious policy 
which have long helptd to keep India quiet and contented. 
By the Anti-Opium party it will doubtless be held that 
even the snggesti(m of the above views is exaggerated and 
far-fetohed, and that the position in India '"is clear and 



MIKITHS Of KVIDKNCE. 



55 



Well defined, and distinctly aiRrmed hy Her ILijesty's 
Proolnmation. Of the latter point thei'e cannot be any 
sort of possibility of doubt in the minds of all reasoning 
persons. But, for all this, the dunijer of misconception is 
not materially rednced. It is not only witli the educated 
and tlie sensibU that the Government here has to deal, and 
tliere remains the danger of misapprehension in the minds 
of ths suspicious aud ill-educated masses from an Hgitalion 
which is admittedly based on wliat aie declared to be the 
claims of Christianity. No sensible person ever supposed 
that the rumour that agitated India in 1857 regardini; the 
greased carlrid;;e,s had any re:d fonndation. Still its efliects 
are written in history. And it is hardly too much to say 
that the incautious action ol' well-intenti<m('d entlmsiasts in 
this delicate q.uestion, to which a distinct religious colouring 
has been given, and which is liable to arouse no small 
interest throughout the country, may. besides ejnbarassing 
the finances, have possibly tlie much more dangerous effect 
of disturbing the political balance of Her iWajesty's Empire 
in India. 

It is quite true that those who now support the Anti- 
Opium party might perhaps fairly say that, so to speaic, the 
bottom has been knoolted out of that part of the argument, 
based on the view that the people have to pay something 
for the change, and that there is a danger gf additional 
taxation. So far as I understand the Anli-Opium party 
now, they say " Oh no, that is a mistake, England is going 
to pay the whole bill." If that is the case, that entirely 
disposes of any argument based on the possible discontent of 
the people from enhanced taxation. But, if I may be 
allowed to say so with very great respect, after all when the 
Anti-Opium party ask us to relinquish this argument, we 
may fairly say we cannot do so 'without a valuable con- 
sider ition. And the only valuable consideralimi oli'ered is 
apparently a sort of promissory note oll'eied by the Secretary 
of the Society. Now, first of all, that prom.issory note does 
not seem to have the stamp of soundness upon it that is 
necessary ; and further, we only have on the bill the name 
of the Secretary. I do not know i I he has any power to 
represent and sign for the whole t'^ociety As far as I can 
understand, the Secretary ot State for India has altogether 
declined to put his name to the back of the bill. I read the 
speech of the I'rime Minister, and be certainly did not seem 
inclined to put the name of the people of England on the 
back of it. 

We bear of a meeting held at Norwich at which several 
gentlemen passed resolutions, and apparently they were 
inclir.ed to put their names to the bill, but 1 do not think 
that any one in his senses would consider (bat the bill, as it 
now comes before us, is a negotiable security. I think 
before we give up our arguments we should like to 
see the money down. Before India is to be disturbfd 
or her peonle alarmed wiih the idea of increased taxation, as 
undoubtedly they will be, it will be satisfactory if the 
Anti-Opium Association will get the Grovernment or the 
people of England to put the money down. Then, if they 
will co'me before us with proof of the real horrors in China, 
J do not think there would be so great a difficulty in the 
change. It may be said that it is necessary to find out how 
much the sum would be. You cannot go to the people of 
Entrland without S(.me sort of idea of how much will be 
wanted ; but, as I have said before, there would be no case 
to go to the people of England uuless the position in China 
were proved, and we certainly want moie concluj-ive 
evidence on that subject than we have at present before us. 
If the case in China is thoroughly well proved, perhaps the 
people of England will put down that sum of money, but 
after all, even if that were done, there would still remain a 
very great difficulty in India with those among whom the 
prohibition of opium, except for medical purposes, would lead 
to a great deal of discontent. An • enormous sum, I believe, 
will be required to be capitalised before the Indian people will 
believe that they will not have to pay the bill or any part of 
it, and that there will be no taxation. First of all, you have 
to capitahse a sufficient sum to make up for the present 
revenue, that is, Rx. 5,000,C00 or Ex. 6,000,C00 ; then there 
would be the Native Slates The sum would be enor- 
mous in the way of compensation. If I understand Mr. 
Alexander rightlv, he said, as the mouthpiece of the Asso- 
ciation, that if the Native States weie not inclined to give 
way gracefully, compulsion should be used. Now we, who 
have been in India a long time, know what compulsion 
would mean. The sum spent in compulsion would probably 
very much exceed the sum that would have to be capitahsed 
to pay for the losses of revenue in India proper. That 
compulsion, as a distinguished officer in Central India 
wrote years ago, would mean fire and sword, and it would 
not only mean fire and sword in that particular part 
of the country to which the compulsion desired by tlie 
Anti-Opiumists would be applied. If you once begin 



Mr. 

./. H. Eh-eH- 

Carnirr. 

0. I. E.; 

F. 8. J.; 

A.-D.'C. 



with fire and sword in one part of India, the materials arc 
so inflammable that you may have fire and sword extending 
a great deal further. That would mean an enormous in- 
creased cost in the Army. I do not think any one can form 
an estimate of what that cost would be. 

2937. You can only give your view generally? — If per- 
suasion does not succeed, I understand that tliere is to be iS Nov. 1893, 

compulsion, and compulsion to my mind means making 

■people do something, whether tliey like it or not, by forcible 

measures, and that would mean ^ large increase in the Euro- 
pean Army of occupation. 

2938. So far as the Commission is concerned we are ex- 
pressly charged with the duty of consultini; the people of 
India with refeience to any alterations that may be pro- 
posed in the existing system, — I want to put forward the 
enormous expense that would be incurred. I say that this 
sort of promissory note will be for an enormous sum of 
money, and I do not believe that England would ever put 
down a sufficient sum of money for the purpose. I hold 
that it is perfectly fair to assume that the sum required will 
not be paid by England, and that taxation, iheretbre, will be 
necessary in this country, and if you put taxation on the 
grounds recommended, you may have very considerable 
trouble throughout the country. 

2939. You are merely discussing a pure hypothesis — gi ven 
a certain policy, certain results will possibly follow? — I say 
distinctly that if you have heavy taxes such as were pro- 
posed the other day, a tobacco tax, an increase in the salt 
tax, and so on, for the reasons which have been advocated, 
you will have considerable trouble in the country. J believe 
that will be found to be the opinion of nearly every European 
and native who knows anything about the country. 

2940. (Mr. Wilson.) Will you be good enough to begin at 
the beginning and tell us the exact piocass by which land is 
put in cultivation and the various steps by which opium 
gets into your stores ? — First, the Government must permit, 
through an order of the Board of Revenue, cultivation in a 
district. It is intimated to me that 1 u'ay give licenses in 
a certain district — that is the fir.st process. Then intiTna- 
tion is given to the cultivators through the tiative stalT' tliat 
the officers who serve with me are prepared to give licenses 
in that tract. 

2941. Is that intimation verbal or is it published P — 
The notice is generally sent verbally through the native 
staff. I may as well explain the sort of stp.ff through which 
the whole arrangement is managed. There is the native 
subordinate zilladnr who is the unit of the opium system. 
He is a native of those parts and having knowledge and 
experience of the people, and has charge of a certain num- 
ber of villages which are maiked out in a map, and to 
which he is appointed by the opium officers of tlie district 
under whom he serves. Intimation comes from me that a 
certain amount of opium is to be grown in the district. 
That decision is made by me on the orders that I receive 
from the Government as to the amount of 0|dum that will 
be requiied for the next season from the Agency. 

2942. That intimation is an order?— No, they take it 
if they like it. It is a question whether I can get the 
amount required. 

2943. You said you gave an intimation that a certain 
quantity was to be cultivated? — The Government say they 
require a certain amount of cultivation, and they ask me 
to get a certain amount if I can. 1 then make up my 
mind as to the distribution. I take the different districts 
and I make an estimate or forecast of what can be got. I 
tell the officers of the districts to send up what we call a 
forecast of bow much they will be able to get. My orders 
are given as to whether they are to cultivate 20,000 bigbas 
or 10,000 bighas. Notice is given to the native staff, and 
at a certain time, which is notified, the officer goes into 
the interior of the districti The zilladars bring the culti- 
vators in, and they make a petition to be allowed to culti- 
vate, each man so many bighas. The officer has to decide 
bow much he will take and what lands he will take, and 
when, say, 40 or 50 men come and present a petition and ask 
to be allowed to cultivate so much,, be selects the men 
whom he considers good men and strikes out those whom 
he considers to be inditferent ; that is, in cases where he 
gets a great deal more offered than he wants. If as 
many men do not come aa he wants he does not strike out 
anybodv. In every case the man has to make a petition 
to be allowed to cultivate opii;m, and then tlie Departmental 
otfioers grant the ficense, and without that license the men 
cannot cultivate. 

2944. What is the petition ?— That he wishes to culti- 
vate so many bighas. 

2945. Is it in a printed form ?— No ; the zilladar writes it 
down. 



56 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION 



Mr. 

J. H. Mireit' 

Carnac^ 

0. I. -B. ; 

F. S. A. ; 

A.-D.-C. 



2946. Some petitions T have heaid of in India have to 
be on stamped paper ?— These are not. The officer decides 
whether he will accept theiv offers or not. He has the 
pupers before him, and lie decides whether he will take the 
man as a cultivator or not. 



2947. Are these applications or petitions for a definite 
23 Nov. 1893. quantity of land or a general request to grow p — For a defi- 
■ — uite quantity of land. 

'2948. Is it a uniform definite quantity ?— No. One man 
tjive a bigha and another half a bijjha and another a 
quarter of a bigha, and so on. In our part, we have a 
system which has greatly added to the popularity of the 
Opium Department — a system of dealing direct with the cul- 
tivators. In old days the luinbardar, wlio is the headman, 
used to come and say that he bad so many men who wanted 
to cultivate, and he used to be told that they might have so 
many bighas. Now we try to get the cuUivators to come in 
themselves to what is called the settlement. 

2949. Is that better?— Yes. We deal direct with the 
cultivators. 1 consider the system is immensely preferable ; 
people like it very much now that thpy understand it. In old 
days the payment and all arrangements used to be through 
the middleman ; now in the agency to which I belong we 
try to do everything direct with the cultivator himself. 

2950. (Mr. Pease.) In the p;iper called "Notes on the 
"supply of opium, "it is said that under the system of licenses 
advances are made through the headman? — "We do not al- 
ways deal direct with the cultivators, but we do so as 
much as possible and not through a middleman, 

2951. {Mr. Wilson.) Will you now eo on with your de- 
scription of the process? — The opium officer gives a man a 
license to cultivate a certain quan';ity of land. The man 
asks, perhaps, to be allowed to cultivate half a bigha, but 
if he is not a very satisfactory cultivator, the otScer only 
gives him permission to cultivate ii quarter — when he gets 
his license, he gets at the same time an advance varying 
in amount according to his merits as a cultivator. He takes 
the money, goes home, and sets to work, and gets the 
field ready; about this time of the year they have just sown. 

2952. [Mr. Pease.) Is any security given as to ad- 
vance? — Yes, the lumbavdar gives security. 

2953. But you have done away with the lumbardais ? — He 
gives security. We do not take security from individual 
cultivators, but from the lumbardar who gets certain ad- 
vantages ; he t.'ets a certain commission and becomes surety 
for his cultivators. 

2954. Do you know what the commission is? — It varies ; 
it is about Re. 1 per mau*i. The man gets his field ready 
andin due time the opium officer comes and measures it. 
He sees that the man has sown as niucli as he has permis- 
sion to sow. The measurement process takes place about 
the month of January or February. The poppy is ripe 
at the beginning of the hot wenthei'. When the opium is 
collected, the cultivators bring the opium into a central 
place where there is a weighment shed ; there the opium is 
weighed and the man is paid at the rate of Rs. 5 a seer. 
The account is worked out, and the iidvame he has received 
is deducted from the sum due to him. The opium 
officer at the weighment shed has not all the appliances 
and cannot tell exactly what is the consistence of the 
opium. 

2955. {Mr. Wilson.) What distance of land would a central 
place of weighment cover P How muny miles would a culti- 
vator bring his opium ? — We have during the last few years 
so arranged the weigbmint that the men do not come more 
thin perhaps 15 or 20 miles ; in old days they would come 
100 miles and think nothing of it, hut during the 18 yenrs 
that I have been in charge, we have made many new places 
for weighment and settlement, and the consequence is that 
our settlements and weighnients are more central than ever 
tiiey were before. On an Average men do not come more 
than 20 miles. When the account is made up the man is 
paid after the advance is deducted. The opium is then 
sealed up in a jar and sent down to the central factory at 
Qhazipnr. 

2056. Is it marked with his name ? — Yes, when you go to 
Patna the whide process will be seen on the spot. 

{Chairman.) Perhaps that will be the best way. We should 
be sorry not to go into any matters as fully as may be de- 
sired. The presence of a witness who liae been so closely and 
personally connected with the business naturally suggests 
such questions, but on the other hand, if we are going to the 
district lo make an e.xaminalion /)( .?jV;t for ourselves, per- 
haps the detailed investigation should take place on the 
spot. 

(Mr. Wilson.) I was speaking to a gentleman who I 
thought had some knowledge of this subject, and when I 



asked him this question he told me that Mr. Eivett- 
Carnac could answer them all. 

(Chairman.) Then perhaps you had better finish it. 

(Witness.) The final payment is not exactly on 
the- weight of the opium. The question of consistence 
comes in. Of course you are aware that in opium as in 
all other vegetable products there is a certain amount of 
moisture. The Ooveriiment pay a man Ks. 5 a seer on a 
consistency of what we call the standard of 70. That means 
that if opium has the 70 per cent, of scdid matter in it 
imd 30 per cent, of moisture Rs. 5 is paid. If the opium 
only has 50 per cent, of solid matter and 60 of moisture 
only 50-70ths of Rs. 5 is piiid. The opinm officer, when 
thousands of cultivators are assembled at the weighments, 
has not all the appliances, and oann<jt tell exactly the con- 
sistency, and whether the percentage of solid matter is 60 
or 65 ; but he makes a rough shot at it ; he pays the man 
at a rough estimate, and sends the opium down to the 
Factory at Ghazipur or Patna. At these factories there 
are what are called steam tables on which the opium is 
exposed BO as to ascertain the consistence. _ First in most 
delicate scales a certain amount ot opium in its crude state 
with the moisture in it is Weighed off. This is j laced 
on the steam table, where by meiins of great heat all the 
moisture is evaporated. Having done that, the residue, a 
perfectly dry powder, is taken into the laboratory and 
re-weighed, and the residue shews what the consistency is. 
If there is 80 per cent, remaining it shews tliat there is 80 
per cent, of solid matter and the opium is of bO consistence. 
Wlieu the accounts are made up the man who sends in his 
opium with a con-istency of 80 gets paid 80-70th3 of 
lis. 5. These accounts are made up by an elaborate staff 
at head-qu.irters, and the figures are sent back to the 
district officer. The cultivator returns a few months after- 
wards for the settlements, and then he gets what tbey call 
a chukt or the balance. 

2957. In fact that is the final settlement? — Yes. 

2958. Does he get his account p — Yes, the whole account 
is written out on his license. 

2959. [Mr. Wilson.) Then he is paid his balance ? — Th.it 
tdoses the transaction, and then he begins again or not as he 
likes. 

2960. Is there always a balance P — Generally, unless there 
is a bad year. 

2961. If there has been a mistake, or if there is a bad 
year, what happens p — Then he does not get anything 
paid as " chukti," and the balance remains over till the next 
year. He need not remain a cultivator; he can give up his 
license if he likes. As regards the recovery of balances, this 
is left a good deal to the Opium Agent. If there has been 
a very bad year, the chances are that the balance is spread 
over five or six years and collected by degrees. Sumetimes 
it is remitted altogether if there has been a very bad year, 
under special circumstances. 

2962. Are these small balances collected from the man 
himself or from the lumbardar? — They are paid by the man 
when he comes in the next year aud deducted from his 
amount. 

2963. I believe, according to the condition of the stores 
in Calcutta aud according to the condition of the trade and 
the amount that the (iovernment desires to sell, the area is 
from time to time increased or decreased? — Of course I do 
not know that. All I know is that they tell me to obtain so 
much. You should ask the Government ; it is a secret 
locked up in their hearts. They tell me so much opium is 
required, and 1 believe it practically depends very much upon 
the state of the stocks in Calcutta. X have, however, no 
olfioial authority for saying that; it is their secret. 

.".;'64. The Government intimates to you what it would 
like and you have to get it incrensed or decreased according 
to such instructions? — The (Government savs "we should 
" like your agency to provide if possible so many thousand 
" chests of opium next year." I make a rough calculation. 
I know how much opium there is in a chest, and I know 
what is the average production per bigha, I know, for 
instance, that if the production has been on an average 4^ 
seers to the bigha, it would require 15 bighas to provide 
one oh est. I make a rough calculation, and mike up my 
mind how to get the required number of chests. I tell each 
district officer to try and get so much cultivation, appor- 
tioning my total between the different districts according to 
circumstances. 

2965. S)ippose that a year has been a good one and there 
is less need for a large supply the followinsryear, would that 
reduction be effected usually by reducing the number of 
cultivators or by reducing the number of bighas or the area 
that each inan hag to grow? — That would depend very much 
upan the district opium officer. Thore are a large numher 



MINUTES 01? EVIDENCE. 



57 



of officers working in the departmeut in the districts. 
General directions are issued, and each officer sends a forecast. 
I have to leave the details larfjely to them. Possibly they 
send reports and recommendations. They may say that the 
cultivation in such a part has been Very unsatisfactory, and 
they may recommend that the cultivation he given up there 
altogether. Or they may say that it has been very satisfac- 
tory, and that they will cut down certain villages or certain 
licenses or certain persons. The details are left very much 
to them. 

2966. Is the quality grown in different districts by differ- 
ent cultivators so nearly alike that the price depends solely 
upon the moisture in it? Is there no difference in the 
quality apart from thatP — There is none recosnised in the 
departujent. We pay the men from all the different districts 
the same price. Payment is entirely upon the consistencj' 
and the weighment. Quality is not taken into account. 

2967. One district or one cultivator is not better than 
another ? — A man may be better in this way, that he 
brings in a larger outturn. Of course, if he is caught adul- 
terating, that is a different thing. 

2968. There are no differences in Calcutta? — They are 
uot recognised. 

2969. I have no doubt you are aware that reference has 
been made in some official documents from time to time to 
the difficulty of getting the requisite quantity of land. 
What does that arise from P — The cultivators do not care 
to sow. 

2970. Why p — I suppose at times the cultivators find that 
they can get some crop that pays them better, and possibly 
they often get disheartened. It is the bad class of cultiva- 
tors that get disheartened after a bad season, the good class 
do not. The indifferent cultivator, if the season is bad, 
tries somethin g else. The good cultivator does uot get 
disheartened, but sticks to the crop. 

2971. In your opinion is there anything in the nature 
of pressure — perhaps you will not call it compulsion — to 
induce men to grow the quantity required ? — In my belief 
there is absolutely none. I should punish it severely if I 
found it, but I do not believe there is in the least. The 
position of the department in the North-West Provinces 
particularly is a peculiar one. It is what you may call an 
imperium in imperio. It is a department that is not subor- 
dinate to the Government of the North-West Provinces, and 
has nothing to do with the district officers. Havine; been a 
district officer, and having served in the administrative 
branch myself, I know, and I daresay every Indian officer 
will tell you, that a department which is independent of the 
Government and independent of the district staff would 
always be an unpopular department. And I believe that 
if any of the departmentsto which I belong were to attempt 
to bring pressure on the people, they would immediately 
go and tell the district staff, and I do not think the dis- 
trict staff would be very much inclined to hold us excused. 

2972. Take the case of the lumbardar who is paid by 
commission ; is it not in human nature that he should try 
to get as much commission as he can ? — I should think so ; 
human nature enters a gieat deal into everything — as a 
general principle, I admit that. 

2973. I suppose even among himbardare there may be 
some black sheep p — Yes, numbers. 

2974. Then taking the case of a black-sheep lumbardar, 
has he no means by which he c^in exercise persuasion 
amounting to compulsion ? — I think it is possible, but it is 
very improbable. The district officers go round, and 1 
think that probably the man would get into trouble later 
on ; he would be complained against, and he would probably 
get caught and severely punished. I daresay they may 
do as suggested sometimes. 

2975. Have you had to deal with such cases P — Never 
1 never heard of a case of compulsion. I have had com- 
plaints made against me even to Her Majesty the Queen- 
Empress after the petition bad gone through the differ- 
ent stages. People came in hundreds complaining of the 
stoppage of cultivation. The petitioners went before the 
Board of Revenue, then to the Lieutenant-Governor of 
Bengal, and then to the Viceroy, and then to Her Majesty. 
Many petitions, some of which went to Sir Henry Ponsonby, 
were sent back here. It was not the ease of a wicked 
opium official making the people grow opium, but it was 
the wicked Agent who -would not let them grow it. 
That actually took place, and it can be proved up to the 
hilt. I can shew that every year hundreds of men relinquish 
the cultivation. There may be some lumbardars who may 
force men to remain on, but I can give conclusive evidence 
that year by year hundreds of men give up. There is abso- 
lutely ho compulsion whatever by the Department. 



Mr. 

J. H. Rioett- 

Carnac, 

CLE., 

F.SA., 

A. I I.e. 



2976. (Sir James Lyall.) You say that the lumbardar 
may in some cases force them ? — For aught 1 know. It is 
quite a hypothetical case ; there is a possibility of it, 

2977. (Mr. Wilson.) In the fourth paragraph of your 
printed statement you express regret with regard to this 

inquiry being held, and you state that there had been no 

convincing evidence from China on the subject ? — Yes. 23 Nov. 1893. 

2978. I suppose you know that question wns settled by 

the House of Commons in 1891 when a Conservative Govern- 
ment was in power p— I think I read in the speech of the 

Right HonouralDle the Prime Minister, who stated distinctly 
that it had never been settled. 

2979. May I give you the words of the Resolution that 
was carried by 160 votes to 130.—" That this House is of 
" opinion that the system by which the opium revenue is 
" raised is morally indefensible "P — I have not brought with 
me the papers, but I think 1 could quote from the speech 
of the Prime Minister the statement that the matter had 
never been distinctly settled by the House of Commons. 
If I mistake not, one speaker also laid it down distinctly 
that it had never been distinctly settled. 

2980. I ask if you know that the amendment was car- 
ried ; I did not ask about the Prime Minister, but 1 ask 
whether you know that the amendment was carried by 160 
votes to 130 p — I did not know the number. I had read 
what the Right Honourable the Prime iVlinister said, and 
I distinctly understood that it was to the effect that the 
matter had not been settled by the House of Commons, and 
I think Mr. Speaker said the same. lean put in the ex- 
tract if necessary. 

(The Chairman.) So far as it is in the records of Parlia- 
ment we have it before us irrespective of any information 
which the witness may have. 

2981. (Mr. Wilson.) I ask whether iu giving this evi- 
dence you were aware that the House of Commons had ex- 
pressed an opinion that it was morally indefensible?— I was 
not aware of it. 

2982. Your answer is in the negative p~ Yes. I understand 
that no motion of that sort has been carried. I say 
distinctly that the people of India, of whose opinion I hear 
a good deal sometimes, do not consider that there has been 
convincing evidence of the fr'arl'ul effects of opium in China, 
that they have not heard sufficient to make them consider 
the desirability of giving up this source of revenue and 
bringing trouble on the country. 

2983. When you say the people of India, whom do you 
mean ? — I understand it to be a very strong feeling in 
India. I cannot speak for the people of India, but 1 say 
that amongst the large number of people whom I have met 
the general feeling is that they are not convinced that the 
state of affairs in China is so terrible, that there is sufficient 
reason why Government should give up the large revenue 
that is now raised from opium. 

2984. When you speak of these people in India, you 
mean the Anglo-Indians? — And natives, particularly edu- 
cated natives. They have constantly said to me " has it 
been satisfactorily proved?" 

2985. You want us to understand that the persons whom 
you have met in India do not agree with the Resolution 
"of the House of Commons that the thing is morally inde- 
fensihle ?— I was not thinking of the House of Commons 
then. 

2986. I understand your point is that when the House of 
Commons states that it is morally indefensible, there are 
some persons in India who do not agree with them ? — I 
thought the Commission might wish to hear the opinions 
of a large number of persons in India, both European and 
Native, to the effect that they do not consider that the case 
has been thoroughly proved in regard to China, and that 
before giving up a large revenue and possibly embroiling 
the country in great trouble, they would like the case to be 
thoroughly proved by an exhaustive inquiry in China. 
It was not in reference to anything connected with the 
House of Commons that I was speaking. 

2987. (Mr. Pease.) You make some allusion to a change 
of front ou the part of the Anti-Opium Society. It is 
only fair to say that in 1886 they put out a document in 
which they took exception to the Bengal system, and at the 
game time they say that they will strongly oppose the trans- 
ference of the trade into private hands. — I am under 
some disadvantage. Until, through the courtesy of Mr. 
Alexander, I recently received some papers, I had hardly 
seen any of these publications, I was always under the im- 
pression that the Anti-Opium Society treated the monopoly 
as the key of the position attacked ; and I was rather glad 
to defend it. 

2988. You say that there are Deputy Sub-Agents ; by 
whom are they selected or appointed ? — They come in 

11 



58 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION 



A.II.G. 

23 Nov. 1893, 



Mr. originally as Assistant Deputy Opium Agents, and are 

J. R. Riveit- promoted by dejrrees to be Deputy Opium Agents. They 

Crrnao, are appointed by selection and competition. The noniina- 

C.I.E.,F.8.A., tions for the vacancies are in the hands of the two Opium 

Agents and the Governments of Bengal and the North- 

West. 

2989. Do the Governments and the Opium Agents 
nominate P — The actual process i», thMt each nominates one 
man. The four nominees compete for one appoiutnieut, 
the best of the four getting the .nppointinent. 

2990. {Sir James Lt/ a 11.) You and Mr. Hopkins are the 
officers of the head opium ajienoy in Benares and Behar. Your 
duties are oonlined to superinlendinj? and managing, grant- 
ing licenses to cultivate the popoy, giving advances to the 
cultivators, the collection of opium from the cultivators, and 
its manufiicture and transport to Calcutta ; these are your 
duties, I believe ? — They are. 

2991. I understand that you and Mr. Hopkins were 
named by the Government as witnesses to give evidence 
as to the duties of your work and how it is managed ? — 
That is correct. 

2992. You had no instructions to defend ths monopoly 
system or to express tlie views of Government on the 
question referred to the Parliamentary Commission ? — 
Absolutely none. I believe we were practically told to 
come here and give any information that our experience 
may enable us to give. 

2993. You pointed out the additional duty or profit 
that Government gets on Bengnl opium as compared with 
Malwa opium p — I did. 

2991. Is it not the case that that additional profit or 
duty on Bengal opium is got by appropriating to (jovern- 
nient through the monopoly a small part of the profit which 
the .Malwa cultivator gets, that is, the ilalwa culti- 
vator gets a little more for the opium being free trade 
than the Bengal cultivator does? — I should say that is 
correct. 

2995. The rest of the profit is got by appropriating 
to the Government the whole of the profit which the 
Malwa miinufacturer gets?— That is my view, 

2996. (Mr. Fanshawe.) Mr. Kvans, who gave evidence 
this morning, spoke of the fear of the tehsildar as being a 
reason why cultivators could not give up poppy cultivation. 
In the North-West has the tehsildar any power to deal with 
poppy cultivators P^Absolutely none. 1 do not mean to 
say that if he had a personal friend, the tehsildar might not 
get him to do something. One cannot say that he mifrht 
not have, some influence. The tehaildar as a native official 
has nothing to do with us. A complaint amongst 
Opium officers often has been that although the tehsildar 
goes out and provides every sort ol arrangement for other 
officers gomg tlirou^jh his district, he does not regard Opium 
officers as any body at all, and will not put himself out of the 
way for them because they are not officers who are con- 
nected with him. I was at first inclined to think that 
it was a great mistake that we did not work through the 
District officers. After I joined the Agency, having served 
in the Central Provinces where all the administative strings 
were in the hands of the District officer, it seemed to me 
that it would be an excellent plan to have all the opium staff 
put under the collector so as to bring the collector and the 
tehsildar to help the Opium Department. I was 
unmercifully snubbed for the recommendation, and 
afterwards I saw the foolishness of my proposal and the 
wisdom of the rebuke that was administered to me, inas- 
much as it was pointed out that the Government could not 
recognise the district staff as oeing connected with opium 
cultivation. 

2997. If any native subordinate of your Department 
could put pressure on the cultivators, who would it be P — 
Would it be the zilladar p — I really do not know how they 
could put pressure. 

2998. If anybody might put pressure on the villagers to 
cultivate poppy it would be the inspector or the man who 
goes round the villages ? — Yes. 

2999. He is the zilladar P— Yes. 

3000. Has he a circle? — Yes, he has five or six villages. 
He is the administrative unit. 

3001 . Then the man who goes first through villages in 
that way would be the man who might put pressure to 
bring them in ? — Yes. 

3002. {Mr. Saridas Veharidas.) You were in the 
Bombay Presidency as Cotton Commissioner and you had 
occasion to see and know the cultivators,? — Yes ; I 
served a long time in the Central Provinces and Berar, As 
a Cotton Commissioner I was brought into contact with 
the people. 



3003. Can you give an idea of the condition of tha 
cotton cultivatois as compared with that of the poppy cul- 
tivators? — I knew the cotton cultivator in his halcyon 
davs when he used to make much money and was ex- 
tremely well ofif. I think the opium cultivator is as well 
ofF, because the opium cultivators are the cream of the culti- 
vators in our part of India. Nobody excepting the best 
class of cultivators will take up the poppy cultivation or 
keep it for long. I should say that the average opium cul- 
tivator was better off than the cottcm cultivator.^ I saw the 
cotton cultivators in the days of the cotton famine. 

3001. Cotton cultivators get no advances ?- No. 

3005. Does the poppy cultivator go to the oflScer to get 
a license or does the officer go to the cultivator p— We now 
send the Opium officers to certain central points. In old 
davs the officer used to remain at head-quarters. For 
some years past now we have had bungalows scattered about 
the districts and the Opium officer goes to these points on 
fixed dates, and the cultivator conies to him. I do not me^in 
to say that the zilladars do not encourage men to come in 
and perhaps very often bring them with them. They come 
to the bungalow where the officer is. The opium subor- 
dinate goes originally to the opium cultivator. 

3006. (Mr. Mowhray.) So far as I gather, you do not 
deal in any way with the landowners, but directly with the 
cultivators or with the cultivators through their headman? 
—Yes. 

3007. The only advantage therefore that the landowner 
derives from the cultivation of opium is the belter security 
for his rent, because his tenants are more likely to be 
solvent? — Possibly the landowner sometimes gets a little 
opium for himself, 

3008. From his tenants ? — Yes, if he is an opium-eater. 
Sometimes he may tell the cultivators to bring him a little, 
and this is very difficult to find out. 

3009. That raises the question that I was about to ask, 
whether you believe that there is much of that kind of 
what I may call smuggling ? — It is difficult to say whether 
there is much, but it would be wrong to say that 
there is not some. I could give several reasons which 
seem to indicate that the amount cannot be veiy large. 
Undoubtedly there must be some smuggling ; I should think 
that women keep bacU small quantities for their children and 
for medicine and a little for the cattle, but my reasons for 
supposing that the amount is not very large are these. 
Several times men have been caught buying what is called 
excise opium in the North-West Piovinces and carrying it to 
Calcutta. The reason for their doing this is that the excise 
price of opium at Henares is much lower than at Calcutta. 
It suggests itself that it these smugglers have to go to the 
excise to buy opium, they must have considerable diificulty 
in getting it from the cultivators. They pay Ks. 17 a seer 
for excise opium, and the price we pay to the cultivators 
is only £{s. 5 — a difference of Rs. 12. You cannot believe 
that they would buy excise opium at Rs. 17 if they could 
get opium easily in the districts at any price between 
Ks. 17 and Rs. 5. Then another reason for believing 
that the amount kept back is not very large is that opium is 
constantly smuggled from Nepal on our North East border. 
The Punjab traders have been caught over and over again 
carrying pony-loads of opium wrapped up in onions, tobacco, 
etc., which they have had to go to Nepal for. If they 
go to all the risk and expense and trouble of going 
through our districts, buying opium in Nepal and coming 
through our districts again, there must be some considerable 
trouble in buying from the cultivators. I do not say that it 
is not done to some extent. Another reason which makes 
me suppose that there is a difficulty in smuggling is that we 
have constantly caught men carrying ponv-loads of opium 
pottery for long distances. 50 or 100 miles. During the 
opium collection season hundreds and thousands of women 
and children collect the opium. They scrape off the opium 
fi-om each capsule and put it into a little earthenware dish. 
When they get home they scrape the opium out of these 
little dishes and place it in a larger jar. All these 
little earthenware dishes, even when scraped, retain a certain 
amount of opium. These are sometimes smashed in order to 
extract the opium from them. If the people go to all the 
trouble and expense and risk of carrying this pottery, it can- 
not be very easy to get mucli from the cultivators. Of 
course it would be absurd to pretend, with the 
millions of cultivators engaged in the trade, that they do 
not keep back some of the opium iu small quantities — that 
is an admitted fact. 

3010. What proportion of the staff generally ar« Eng- 
lish?— When I firsi joined the Departrnent nearly all the Sub- 
Deputies and Assistants Were Europeans. Some years later 
the Government determined to throw the Department 
open to boys born and educated in this country. I 



MlNtJTtiS OP KVIDENCB. 



59 



getietally give tlie nomination to a European ; but a youns 
Englishman who oomea out from Ens;liind has very little 
chance agiiirat a boy educated in this country. Durin;; the 
last few years we have appointed a certain number of 
natives, a small percentage ; one in three. 

3011. The subordinates who deal more directly with 
the cultivators are all natives ?— All natives. 

3012. Do yon consider the commission system a good 
system for p^iving these people P —In the Agency in which 
I am, none of the otHcials are paid by commission; we have 
always been against it, rightly or wrongly. 

3013. The prices, we understand, paid to cultivators is the 
same every year?— No, since I have been in the Agency 
it has been changed two or three times. In 1871-7 it" wns 
raised from lis. 4-8 to Rs. 5 a seer ; in 1878 it was reduced 
to Es. 4-8 per seer ; and in 1882 it was again raised to 
Es. 5, and that is the rate at which it stands at present. 

3014. Was that done at your recommendation or by 
the orders of the Board of Revenue ? — Under the orders 
of the Board of Revenue and the Government of India. 
In a matter of that sort involving an enormous sum of 
money the orders that came to me through the Board of 
Revenue were from the Government of India. 

3015. Does it depend on the price which the Government 
are getting at the auction s?les in Calcutta, or on the diffi- 
culties which you find in getting people to cultivate the 
poppy p— 'J'liis reason for lowering the price is a mystery. 
The Government say they want a certain amount sown, and 
if I said I could not get it at Rs. 5 they would probably 



A.D.C. 



raise (he rate. I think they would prefer to lower the Ur. 

rate rather than to raise it. There is always great trouble J. S. Sivett- 
about raising it. Camac, 

3016. iMr. Pease.) Is it not a fact that when the C.ZJB.^.S.^., 
opinm rate was low there was a high price of cereals so 
that there was a difficulty in getting people to cultivate 
opium, and it was necessary to raise the rate so as to induce 
them to cultivate itP— My impression is that they raise 
the rate because they want more opium. 

3017. I think I have read that it was on account of the 
high price of other produce at that time that the rate for 
opium was raised P — I cannot say. 

(Chairman.) It depends upon two things — upon the 
price obtainable at the time for other descriptions of 
produce, and also upon the requirements of the Govern- 
ment with reference to their stock of opium. 

3018. {Sfr. Mowbray.) Do the cultivators who grow 
opinm put all their land into the opium crop, or do they 
cultivate cereals on part of the land P — The cultivator only 
puts a small jiatch under opium, say a quarter or sometimes 
one-sixth, with which he intends to pay his rent ; the rest 
he cultivates as a rule in grain crops to supply his family 
and his cattle. 

3019. (Mr. Wilson) You have exphiined to us that 
when the (jovernment does not desire to have so much land 
under eultivatiiin a certain number of persons are struck 
off the list, or other persons may have a portion of land 
reduced P — Yes. 

3020. When that takes place, do they get any kind of 
compensation p — No. 



The witness withdrew. 
Adjourned until to-morrow at 11 o'clock. 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Buildings, Calcutta. 



TWELFTH DAY. 

Friday, 24th November 1893. 



PEESEKT ; 



Thb Right HoNotrBABiE LORD BEASSEY, K.C.B. (Chaieman, Peesidisq). 



SiE James B. Ltall, G.C.I.B., K.C.S.I. 

The Hon'mb Sib Lachhmbswab Singh, Bahadur, Maha- 

KAJA OF Darbhanga, K.C.I.E. 
SiE William RoBEETS, M.D. 
Mb. R. Q. C. Mowbbat, M.P. 



Me. A. U. Fanshawe. 
„ A. Abthub Pease. 
,, Habidas Vehaeidas Desai. 
„ H. J. WitsoK, M.P. 



Me. J. Peescott Hewbtt, CLE., Secretary. 
Me. James Faibbaien Finlat called in and examined. 



3021. {Chairman.) Kindly state what your position 
is. — I am Secretary to the Governmeut of India in the 
Finance. Department. 

3022. You attend this morning for the purpose of pro- 
ducing OD behalf of the Government of India five papers, 
of which copies have already been given to the Secre- 
tary P — Yes. 

3023. Will you tell us the different heads with which 
those papers deal P — The first is a " Statement shew- 
ing Opium Revenue and Expenditure of British India under 
all Heads of Accounts ;" the second is a note regarding 
" Opium produced or consumed in India ;" the third is a note 
regarding " Arrangements with Native States rCijarding 
Opium ;" the fourth is an " Account of previous proposals 
for abolishing the Government monopoly, cultivation, 
manufacture and sale of Opium in Bengal," and the fifth 
is a Reprint of a Report on Opium in Western China by 
Mr. W. D. Spence, Her Britannic Majesty's Acting 
Consul, Ichang, dated 11th April 1892. 



3024 The papers that you have enumerated have, M m, T w v, 
I understand been in the hands of the Secretary fo; a ^'^ If ^*''" 
day or two, but we cannot assume that every one of these 
papers has been attentively read by each member of the 24 Nov. 1893. 

Commission. I understand your desire is that those papers 

shall be accepted by the Commission as being the evidence 
tendered in chief on the part of the Government of India 
with retereiice to the various matters which are there 
dealt with ; you desire that your personal part in givin- in- 
formation should r.ither take the form of explanations which 
may be required of you by any member of the Commission 
regardins anv points which are dealt with in those pa- 
pers P— That is so. ^ 

I believe it will tend rather to the despatch of 
business if we did not detain Mr. Finlay further this 
morning, hut that it should be undei stood on the part of 
the Commission that we should read these papers with 
attention, and that Mr. Finlay should attend on Tuesday 

H2 



60 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION 



Mr. J. F. Fin- morning, when the Commissioners will be prepared to 
lay. cvoss-examine him upon ihem. 
M ifiQQ (Witness.") I have been asked to produce the papers 
dA Nov^syrf. jgig^y^g tg ^l^g Confidential Circular issued by the 



Excise Commissioner of the Novth-Western Provinces to 
which publicity was given by the " Abkari." I now hand 
them in. 



D. Mazum- 3025. {Mr. Pease.) Will you hindly state to the Com- 
dar. mission your position and where you reside? — I am a 
pleader at Nowgong, Central Assam. 

3026. With what chisses or i-iioes have you had ex- 
perience, with regard to this opium question p — With the 
Assamese people generally 

3027. Over what period p — For over 18 years. 
3u28. What special opportunities have you had p — As 

pleader, I have hud opportunities to meet and talk with 
every person of every uationaiily and of every creed and 
colour. We get domestic servants and labourers from those 
classes. I come in oontiict every day with these people. 

3029. Have you had any opportunity of seeing them 
in their home lifep — Yes. 



of disease or as an 
for disease. They 
and sometimes in 



3030. What is your experience with regard to the 
consumption of opium in the district about which you are 
able to ^ive evidence P — A large number of people consume 
opium in that district. 

3031. Is it more so in one class of society than in 
another p — Yes, among the Mekirs and Hozais smoking is 
prevalent. 

3032. Kindly tell us what position in life these Mekirs 
and Hozais occupy ? — They are barbarous people that live 
mostly on the hills. 

3033. The practice is not so extensive, is it, among those 
of higher position f — Opium-smoking is not, but opium 
eating and drinking are. 

3034. Can you give ue any idea of the proportion of 
the population that indulge in the habit ? — It may be 25 
per cent, of the whole population.— I mean by the whole 
population, including foreigners. 

3035. At what age do they begin to use opinm usually ? 
— From 16 to 18 years of age, when they grow up and are 
in a position to earn money. Some are taught in early 
childhood. 

3036. Do they take it for the cure 
indulgence P — Some take it as a cure 
are advised to take it for rheumatism, 
cases of dysentery, 

3037. Can you give us any idea what is the proportion 
of those who take it as a cuie for disease ? — I canuot. 

3038. Have you any information as to its being given 
by mothers to their children ? — Yes, it is given by mothers 
to their children. Women form the greatest portion of 
the working community : they do 75 pur cent, of the 
domestic and field work. When they leave home, they 
give small doses of opium to the little children in order 
to keep them quiet at home, 

3039. Do you know anything with regard to those who 
have acquired the habit of taking opium, giving it up p 
— Yes, I bave information with regard to some cases. 

3040. Kindly give it to us? — I know the case of a plead- 
er who lives next door to me. He was in the habit of 
smoking opium, and he gave it up all of a sudden. He 
says now that he is much better than he was when he was 
in the habit of smoking it. 

3041. Are there many who give up the habit, or do they 
find a difficulty in giving it up? — They certainly find a 
difficulty in giving it up, unless they are compelled to do so : 
somehow they do not give it up for good. 

3042. Do you find many who take it to excess? — Yes. 
8043. What proportion of their income do the people you 

have been speaking of spend over opium ? — I should say 
from ten to twenty per cent. 

3044. Do you find there is a tendency to increase the 
dose ? — Yes, those who are in the habit of taking opium, 
increase the dose. 

3045. What do you think is the effect upon the people 
from the con.sumption of opium p — The people are growing 
weak and indolent and unfit for physical labour. 

3046. Do you apply that to those who do not take it to 
excess ? — I apply it generally to those who take opium. 
There is a vast difference between those who take opium 
and those who do not take it, even in their physical appear- 
ance. 



Ram Dhuelabh Mazdmdae called in and examined. 

3047. In your district is opium supposed to be a. 
protection against favor ?— I have never heard of it. 

3048. Will you tell us the complaints for which it is 
taken p— Rheumatic pains, and sometimes in cases of dy- 
sentery. 

3049. What is the medicine that is taken in the case of 
malarious fever p — Cinchona and quinine. 

3050. So far as you know, opium is never prescribed ?~ 
Never. 

3051. Do you think it is necessary for the working 
classes to take opium to ennble them to do their work ?— 
1 do not think so. 

3052. What is the public feeling with regard to the 
taking of opium, does it bring any discredit upon those who 
taue it F — Yes, amongst the rising generation. 

3053. Do you mean that it is a disgrace for young 
people to take it, or that the young people look upon it as 
a disgrace ? — Young people who are educated look upon it 
as a disgrace. 

3054. .What do you think is the effect of the licensing 
system of opium in As.'sam ? I should think it is rather an 
inducement to take opium — licenses are so freely given. It 
is placed at every man's door. In the district of which I 
am speaking, there are about 200 licenses, if not more. 

3055. Have you any suggestion to make as to the course 
the Government ought to take with regard to the licens- 
ing? — I should say that the licenses should be reduced to a 
smaller number — to a vei-y small number, — so that people 
cannot get opium very easily. 

3056. Do you think the law, as it at present stands, has 
been fully carried out in your locality P — I think it is carried 
out properly. I mean the opium law. 

3057. Have you any suggestion to make with regard to 
the prohibition of opium smoking P — I think opinin-smok- 
ing should not be allowed on the premises. If smoking 
were stopped altogether, it would be a very good thing. 

3058. Is it your opinion that the sale of opium ought to 
be prohibited, except for medicinal purposes P — I think it 
should be, but I do not think it is practicable to stop it alto- 
gether in the present state of the country. 

3059. Have you any suggestion to make with regard 
to a substitute for the loss of revenue which would be creat- 
ed by a reduction in the opium revenue ? — Tobacco might 
be taxed ; it is extensively used, and it is a luxury. 

3060. Have you any suggestion to make as to how 
opium should be sold for medicinal purposes P — There should 
be certain licensees under the supervision of the police. A 
register ought to be kept of the people to whom they sell, as 
in the case of ammunition. If practicable, also, I think 
certificates ought to be got from the medical advisers. 

3061. Have you any suggestion to make as to the 
persons who should be authorised to sell it p — Persons 
should be licensed. I do not refer to any particular class of 
people. 

3062. Do yon think there should be any supervision 
over those who have thus been licensed ? — There should be 
full supervision. 

3063. Are you aware whether there is any smuggling 
your dijitrict ?— There is no smuggling of opium in the 



I have heard of cases in other distiicts. 



m 

district. 

3064. Have you any other information with 
those districts ? — No, I have not much. 



regard to 
refer to something 



3065. (Mr. Wilson.) I notice you 
which you call " black fever " ? —Yes. 

3066. Is that a kind of malaria ?— It is called malarial 
fever by medical men. It is extensively prevalent in the 
district, and causes deaths iu every village. 

3' '67. You also refer to muhunts ; who are they P— Mo- 
hunts are persons who are priests or religions teachers. 
3068 Among the Hindus ?— Yes, among the Hindus. 

3069, They avoid it?— They avoid it themselves; and 
they compel their disciples to avoid it. 

3070. You lefer to the town of Nowgong ; is that a large 
town p — It is a small town ; but it is the head-quavters of 
the district. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



61 



3071. You say the people smoke opium and eat it ia the 
shops: is there more than one shop ?— There i a only one 
shop for smoking purposes, that is called the chandu shop. 

3072. Is there an arrangement somewhere in that shop 
by which they can go and lie down and smoke ohandu p 
— Within the same house: tlie vendor sells it, and they 
smoke it in the house. There is no separate hou^e ; it is 
only one hut. 

3073. Is it on the same premises P — Yes, it is one hut. 
The S;ime as this room is. 

3074. In one building? — Yes, one building, a thatched 
hut. 

3075. If I went there to buy some chandu, should I 
see some people smoking at the same time ? — If you buy 
from the outside you would not see them ; but if you go 
inside you will see them smoking. 

3076. Many P— Yes. 

3077. How many P — I cannot say ; it may be twenty or 
twenty-five at a time. If you buy from outside the vendoi 
will hand it to you ouisiue, and you will go away without 
seeing them smoke it. 

3078. You have said that smoking on the premises should 
be stopped. By whom should it be stoppedp — By authority : 
I should say the Magistrate. 

3079. Does not the law prohibit smoking on the premises 
now? — No ; it is understood that they should smoke on the 
premises. 

3080. But there may be a difference between the law and 
the practice. You have told us that people do smoke there. 
I want to know whether that is legal. Are you aware of 
any law prohibiting smoking on the premises P — No, I am 
not as far as the Opium Act of 1878 and the Chief Com- 
missioner's Eules under the Act are concerned. As a 
pleader I get cases under the opium law— breach of the 
opium law ; but I never heard of a case of breach of the 
opium law by smoking on the premises. 

3081. You never heard of a prosecution P — No. 

3082. What I want to know is, could a prosecution be 
instituted P — I do not think so. If it could, the police would 
lake it in hand. They are under the very nose of the 
police. 

3083. Are you at all acquainted with the Blue-book en- 
titled " Opium Consumption in India " p — I have read parts 
of it. 

3084. Have you seen a statement made and dated Decem- 
ber 2nd, 1890 ? — I do not remember the date. 

3085. In reference to a statement made by Mr. Caine, 
the Commissioner uses these words :— "In paragraph 18 of 
the memorial a suggestion is made that all opium dens or 
shops for the retail sale of opium to be consumed on the 
premises should be closed. Now I can positively state that 
there are no ' opium dens ' in this province, such as have 
been described by Mr. Caine and other gentlemen ; none of 
our opium-eaters in the province sit in the opium shops and 
consume the opium." And further on he says, " there is no 
room into which he is invited to enter or into which he can 
go and rest, if so inclined. We have not a single ' opium 
den, ' and it is not necessary to make any change in the 
mode of sale." Were you aware of that? — I have read 
that. 

3086. Do you think that is correct P— I think that it is 
qualified. He has admitted somewhere that there are 
<;bandu shops where people are allowed to smoke! 

3087. Is that admitted in this paper ?— Yes. 

3088. Could you find it?— It is on page 30. "In the 
case of chandu shops (I have three shops for the sale of 
chandu and seven for the sale of madak and ohandu) the 

' drug is always consumed on the premises." 

3089. I will read the whole passage. — It is on page 28, 
paragraph 5 of Mr. Driberg's note :— " In paragraph 18 of 
the memorial a suggestion is made that all opium dens or 
shops for the retail sale of opium to be consumed on the 
premises should be closed. Now I can positively state that 
there are no 'opium dens ' in this province, such as have 
been det^cribed by Mr. Caine and other gentlemen ; none of 
our opium-eaters in the province sit in the opium shops and 
consume the opium. All our opium-sellers carry on other 
business besides the sale of opium ; nearly every opium-vendor 
in the province sells also rice, dal, cloths, and other articles. 
A purchaser of opium may or may not consume the opium 
on the premises ; the generality of them carry it home. 
Opium is not smoked in Assam as a rule, it is swallowed in 
its crude state in the form of a pill, or it is diluted with 
water and drunk ; now a man when he wants opium buys 
i of a tola, or ;J of a tola, or ^ a tola, and consumes part of 
ft at once, and puts the remainder in a pot (debia) which he 



you hiuder him from swallowing a R. D. Mazum.- 

dar. 



carries with him. If 

pill in the shop he will do so outside of it. In fact, there 
is no such thing as going into a shop. The place of vend is 
open on the outside, tlie vendor sits on the chang or plat- 
form, the puichaser standing in a narrow verandah outside 
makes his purchase and leaves. Ihere is no room into 
which he is inviied to enter or into which he can go and 
rest, if so inclined. After njaking his purchase he must 
go on or sit below the nearest tree. The conditions of 
Ujiper India do not apply to this province. We have not 
a single 'opium den,' and it is not necessary to make 
any change in the mode of sale. We wi.-h to restrict 
people to making small purchases of the drug. This 
will not lesult from debarring them from consuming 
the opium in the shop verandah, or outside it. If you 
compel a man not to take opium near a shop he will be 
careful to have a larger supply always at home, and this 
will always be worse for him and worse for all the inmates 
of the house," That is the whole paragx-aph. Now we 
understand that. The passage, however, to which the wit- 
ness refers me is on page 30; from Mr. H. Luttman-John- 
son. Commissioner of the Assam Valley Districts, to the 
Secretary to the Chief Commissioner of Assam. There he 
says at paragraph 2. — " With regard to the specific proposal 
rrade by the Society that our licenses for the retail sale of 
opium should not include consumption on the premises, 1 
have the honour to say that consumption on the premises is 
not common in my division. In the case of opium shops ))ro- 
per, of which I have 880, 1 may say that the drug is never 
consumed on the premises. In the case of chandu shops 
(I have three shops for sale of chandu and seven for sale 
•of madak and chandu) the drug is always consumed on the 
premises. In the case of madak shops, of which I have 
ten, besides these seven licensed to sell both madak and 
chundu, it is often consumed on the premises. My annual 
Excise Kepovts give full particulars of the number of the 
shops and the opium taken on their account from the 
treasury each year. In 1889-90, 13 mauuds 16 seers were 
sold from the treasury for madak and chaudu shops, out 
of a total of 1,398 maunds. I would not mind closing 
these shops ; such a measure would make no difference to 
the habits of the people. The few people who use them, 
chiefly foreigners, would make some other arrangements." 
That is what Mr. H. Luttman-Johuson, the Commissioner 
of the Assam Valley Disiricts, said on tlie 30th December 
1890. What I quoted was from Mr. J. J. S. Driberg, 
Commissioner of Excise, Assam, on 2nd December 
1890. It appears from that that the Commissioner of 
Excise, writing to the Chief Commissioner of Assam 
in December 1890, stated that there were no opium dens 
in the province. 

(Witness.) That is not quite correct. 

{Mr. Wilson.) A few days later, on the 30th of the 
same month, Mr. Luttman-Johnson, Commissioner of the 
Assam Valley Districts, wrote to the Secretary to the Chief 
Commissioner of Assam, that there were a number of opium 
dens. That is really what appears from these extracts. 

3090. [Mr. Pease.) You are aware that there was a 
Resolution of the Government of India, in the Finance 
and Commerce Department, dated 25th September 1891, 
commencing—" The evils connected with the smoking of 
opium and its preparations on the premises o£ licensed 
sliops have for many years attracted the attention of the 
Government of India and the Local Governments ; and 
endeavours have been made to prevent or minimise the 
evils,'' in which it is stated that " the Government of 
India now directs that, when the term for which any 
existing licenses are in force expires, in any licenses 
which may be renew ed a clause should be inserted pro- 
hibiting the consumption of opium on the premises in 
any form ? — I am not aware of any Circular being issued 
in Assam. 

3091. That is a Resolution. Therefore if licenses have 
been issued in accordance with that Resolution, the owner 
of the license to which you are referring is breaking the 
law by allowing smoking to take place on bis premises ? — 
At the time of the sale he is never told that he is not 
allowed to let people smoke on his premises. The notice is 
issued as before. 

3092. Is it not stated in his license ?— I have not seen 
a license particularly : but the conditions of license are 
published : they are the same old conditions. 

3093. Do you say that this condition is not inserted in 
the license ?— I have not seen it. 

{Mr. Pease.) Could we have a copy of the license p 
(Secretary.) The Licenses for Assam have not yet been 
presented. 



24 Nov. isya. 



62 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMlKStON 



M. D. Mazum- 
dar. 

24, Nov. 1893. 



3094i. {Mr. Wilson.) I want to beclearabont this matter. 
These passages 1 have read show, do they not, that the Excise 
Commissioner speaking o£ the whole piovince said that 
tliere were none, that he knew of none, and Mr. Lnttman- 
Johnson speaking of one portion of the (iroviuce said that 
there were a great manj' ? Is that right ? — Mr. Luttman- 
JohnsoLi is right. 

3095. I am referring to that time P — They were as they 
are at present. 

3096. That is another question. You yourself say now 
that they continue at the present time — at least one that you 
know of ? — Yes. 

3097. In the town of Nowgong p — Yes. 

3098. Do you know of any others? — lam not aware of 
any other shops. 

309f . Wit reference to the advisability of prohibiting 
the sale of opium except for medical purpiises, you have said 
that it was desirable, but that in the present state of affairs 
it was impracticable. Was that your answer p — Yes. 

3100. Wliat do you mean by the present state of 
affairs p — People who liave already taken to the use of opium 
would suffer very much if they were not allowed any. 

3101. With regard to the question as to -whether publio 
opinion would prefer the adoption of this measure I under- 
stood you to say that publio opium would be indifferent. I 
do not quite understand you. You say that it is not prncti- 
cable. and yet that public opinion would be indiiferent P — 
The ■whole population would not think of it at all. Only 
those who consume opium would raise a cry. 

3102. Then with reference to smuggling, if there is any 
smuggling in Assam, where do you think the smuggled 
opium comes from p — I have said there is nnsmnggling ; at 
least I am not aware of any smuggling in the district. 

3103. What do you refer to— to Calcutta or the North- 
West Provinces ?— I have heard opium is sold very cheap 
in Calcutta by publ'c auction ; but in Assam it is sold at 
Es. 37 per seer. A man n ho gets a chest for Ps. 1,000 or 
Ks 1,200 would be a gainer by taking it into Assam and 
selling it retail. 

3104. Do you consider that the district of which you are 
speaking — the district which you know best — is a very 
malarious district P — Yes, it is malarious at-preseut. 

3105. (Mr. Moiobray.) When was it exactly that you 
saw these shops and the people smoking on the pre- 
mises p — Some time in August last. 

3106. This year p— Yes. 

3107. What did you say 
opium in Assam, in answer to 
catch it P — In Assam opium 
Treasury for Es. 37 per seer. 

3108. That is not the price at which it would be bought 
by the people of Assam?— That is for Assam licensed 
vendors. 

3109. That is the price at which the licensed vendors buy 
it from GrOvernmentP — Yes. 

3110. I want to know what is the price at which they 
sell it P— Rs. 45 to Rs. 50. 

3111. Has the price increased lately ? — Yes. 

3112. Could you tell me how much p — Rs. 5 per seer, it 
has increased this year. 

3113. Are \ou speaking of the price to the consumer p — 
The price to the consumer, by retail vendors. 

3114. You have told us that the licenses are given too 
freely. I suppose you are aware that the number of licenses 
in Assam has lieen very much i-educed during the last ten 
years P — I should think it would be not very much ; tVom 
208 to 197 or 198 in the district in which I am. 

3115. Are Tou aware that according to the figures furnish- 
ed to us by the Government of India, the number of shops 
for the retail sale of opium has been reduced between 18^3 
and 189i, from 1,318 to 866 P — I cannot give the exact num- 
ber for the whole province. 

3116. Are you aware that the number of shops for the 
retail of madak atjd chanda in the same time lias been re- 
duced from 37 to 16 P— I cannot say. There is only one 
shop in the town in which I live. 

3117. Assuming these papers which have been put 
in by the Coverninent of India to be correct, does that 
not show a considerable reduction in the number of licenses 
during the last ten years p — That shews a reduction, but 
there is still room for further reduction. 

3118. I think you have told us that there would be no 
general feeling against prohibition : do I understand your 
remarks to apply to opium-smoking only, or to opium- 



with regard to the price of 
Mr. Wilson, I did not quite 
is sold by the Grovernment 



eating P -Opium-smoking and opium-eating. The majority 
of the population would not think about it : they would not 
mind being deprived of it. 

3119 They would not mind being deprived of opium- 
smoking or opium-eating, that is your opinion P- Yes. 

3120 {Mr. Fawhawe.) May I ask you if you liave had an 
experience of the district life, or is your experience mainly 
limited to Nowgong ? Have you been in the habit ol mov- 
ing about among the poeple in the villages P-Not much. 

3121. What is your length of standing as a pleader P— 
Thirteen years in that district. 

31-i2. Your experience is mainly limited to Nowgong 
itself, and not to the district P—Nowgong itself. 

3123 The people to whom you were refevrirg were 
Assamese people : have you had any opportunity of knowing 
what their views would be on this subject of opium-eating P 
—Yes ; I have talked to several As.samese people. 

3124. Speaking generally of the district, the Assamese 
people, I understand, would be the cultivators of that 
district p— There is very little difference between the town 
and the suburbs, and the'iuterior. People residing in the 
towns are as much cultivators as the others. 

31 25. In Nowgong is that so P— Yes ; it is something 
jjke a village. 

3126. Have you had any special means of ascertaining 
the views of those people who consume opium ? — They 
would be against it. 

3127. I think you said that quinine was ordinarily used 
as a preventive against fever. Do you mean to say that 
these Assamese people to whom you refer would g^t 
quinine P — Yes. If they went to the dispensary they would 
^et it free of cost. 

3128. Perhaps you are not aware that the Post Office 
has lent its a^^eocy to the Local Government f(n- the sale of 
Government quinine in all post ofBces. Are you aware of 
that P — 1 am not aware of the post offices selling quinine 
in Assam. 

3129. Even with the agency of the Post Office being 
available for the sale of Government quinine, do you think 
that the quinine can generally be brought to the doors of 
the people so that they can ea,sily obtain it P— Yes ; even 
vaccinators take quinine to their doors. 

3130. Do you think there is any tendency or likelihood 
of the people largely taking to quinine? Have you any 
exjierienee to justify you saying that p — I cannot speak 
positively on that point. 

3131. You said that there was no law against opium- 
smoking on the premises : is that so ? — I think so. 

3132. Do you mean that there has been no executive order 
of the Government against itP — I have not seen any. 

3133. You said there was no law; do you me.in that 
there was no ext-cutive order of the Government ? — I mean 
that in the Opium Act there is no provision for it. 

3134. Has there been any executive order from the 
Government on the subject as far as you know ? — I am not 
aware ol any orders. 

3135. Wiiat is ordinarily smoked in Assam ? Is it 
madak and chandup — Yes. 

3136 And nothing else? — They smoke tobacco. 

3137. or course I mean with regard to opium. Madak 
and chaudu is what is smoked? — Yes. 

3138. Are you'aware of what the number of shops in 
Assam is for the purpose of selling madak and clianduP — 
I do not know. There is only one shop in Nowgong. 

3139. The figures of the Government show that there 
are sixieen in the whole Province ? — That maj' be so. 

3140. This particular shop in Nowgong where you saw 
consumption on the premises, was it a madak shop ? — A 
madak and chaudu shop. 

3141. As distinguished from an opium shop? — Opium is 
also sold on the same premises. 

3142. (Sir James Lyall) Do you know the name of the 
master of the chandu vendor's shop P — His name is Kolai, 
He is a Mahomedau. 

3143. Are you sure that the smoking was going on in 
that shop, or was it in a detached place p— There is no. 
detached ]dace. There is only one hut, and that is a 
chandu shop. I have seen people inside there, and some 
people told me they Were smoking, aud I knew them to 
be smokers of chandu. 

3144. You saw thera smoking? — I did not actually see 
them smoking : I knew they were smokers. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



63 



3145. (Chairman.) You were told that tliey were 
smoliing? — Yes, I know people who smoke. They go to 
that place at a stated hour. Some people go at "i o'clock : 
that is then' time, and then you cunnot keep them on duty, 

3146. {Sir James LyalL) If they were smokers they 
would go to that shop, whether they smoked or not, to get 
cliando ? — Ttiey might go to the shop for oliandu ; but; some 
people spend their time there, though there is no necessity for 
their spending their time there. There is an arrangement 
for them there. They have got ohutni and other eatahles 
there. Lately there was a case (No. A 207 decided on 
the 23rd August 1893 by Major P. E. Henderson) in which 
all these things were stolen from that shop. I was pleader 
for one of the defendants. There were two persons in 

the dock. One was convicted : he confessed he had stolen 
all these "things. On inquiry I found all these things ; 
there was some madak and ohandu, and tliere was some 
chutni. People immediately after smoking must have 
something sweet or something sour in order to take the 
taste away. 

3147. You mentioned that the mohunts and their devout 
disciples do not smoke opium p — No ; they do not. 

3148. Are tViey also prohibited fioin drinking alcohol? 

— Drinking alcohol is generally prohibited among the Hindu 
people of Assam. 

3149. What class of people drink arack in Assam ? 

— Hillmen ; the whole people drink, they make their own 
drinks. 

3150. Do yon think that if opiara-eating were stopped, 
there would be a danger of these people drinking arack ? — 
It is religiously prnhihited among the Assamese ; they 
would not talie alcohol. 

3151. Yon say that religious teachers prohibit opium 
too ; still people take opium ? — Yes, that is so. 

3152. Perhaps you are aware, that, before the British 
tiovernment annexed Assam, opium cultivation was free in 
that country ?— Yes, it was. 

3153. I suppose opium then must have been extraordi- 
narily cheap, as compared with the present time ? — Every 
man 'cultivated his own opium. There was very little 
necessity for buying it. 

3154. Have you also heard that when the British Gov- 
ernment prohibited tlie cultivation of opium, there were 
riots P — There was a row at one place, but it was not} on ac- 
count of opium alone. The income-tax was introduced at that 
time, and both these things combined, irritated the ryots. 
A certain officer, a Lieutenant and Assistant Commissioner 
in the district, went among the ryots. He did not use 
proper discretion, and he was Idlled on the spot. There was 
no attempt to loot the treasury, and no attempt was made 
upon the life of the Deputy Commissioner who wms cbief 
officer in the district. That was some time in 1861. 

3155. What district was that p— The Nowgong district, 
about 9 miles from th& place where I live. 

3156. (Mr. Pease.) How long was the prohibition before 
the riots ?— About a year a little more than a year. 

3157. (Mr. Wilson.) What did you say about the tax? — 
It was income-tax. 

3158. Was tliat a new tax ?— It was a new tax. 

3159. Had it never been in force there before? — I do 
not think so, 

Tbe 



3160. {Sir James Lyall.) An income-tax would r\oi B. D. Mazum- 
affect the cultivators, would it? — Everybody was taxed. da7-. 

The present income-tax does not affect those who derive. :;^ 

tlieir income from the land, but the former Act provided ^^ ^ov^dS. 
that every sort of income must be taxed. 

3161. (Mr. Mowbray.) 1 suppose if the opium revenue 
were abolished, it might be necessary to put on another 
tax in As-am ; is that so P— Somehow or other, it must be 
made up. 

3162. (The Maharaja of Darhhanga.) You have said 
that the people in Assam generally spend from 10 to 20 
per cent, of their income on opium ; what class do you refer 
to P — Tlie lower classes. 



316.3. You did not refer to the higher classes? — The 
Assamese are mostly cultivators. There are no zemindars 
in Assam, except in the district of Goalpaia. 

3164. How about tbe tradespeople? — The tradespeople 
are foieigners ; they are Marwaris in general, most of them 
do not take opium. 

3165. (Sir William Roberts.) What race are the people 
of Nowiiong, are they Hindustani, or alike to the Chinese 
in blood ? — Some of them are like to the Chinese. They 
are called Ahoms. Most of them are small aboriginal tribes 
living on tbe sides of the hilU, 

3166. You have said that opium-smoking prevails more 
among certain classes than in others, and that among the 
Hindus it may he between 30 and 40 per cent. Does that 
mean adult males? — Yes. 

3167. That is to say that nearly half the adult males 
use opinm p — They use opium in some shape or other. 

3168. Do they use it mostly in the way of eating, or 
drinking, or of smuking ? — Among the Hinda population, 
mostly in the way of eating or drinking. 

3169. And among the Mekirs more than 75 per cent, of 
the adult males p— Both males and females. 

3170. This applies, I presume, to the population of 
Nowgong and not the country parts about the town? — This 
is all the population of the hills. 

3171. The town population? — A little distance away 
from the town. 

3172. In the Suburbs?— Yes. 

3173. I think you said in answer to Mr. Fanshawe, that 
yonr experience was confined to "the Towns and Suburbs 
mostly P — I mean those people who come from the hills. 

3174. Ave these people healthy? — They are healthy. 

3175. People who eat or drink opium, you think, are not 
affected in their health ?— '1 hey do not get any particular 
disease, but they grow weak. 

3176. Would you consider that the population .of Now- 
gong, the adolt males, are a weakly and unhealthy set of 
people P — 1 should consider them weakly. 

3177. Do you know whether opium is used as a popular 
domestic remedy in Assam ? — It is used in cases of rheu- 
matism and dysentery, as I have already stated. 

3178. You have not heard of opium being used for the 
purpose of relieving people affected with malarial complaints 
i>f any sort ?— No, 1 am not aware of any cases in which 
opi.im was prescribed for malarial fever. 

witness withdreWf 



Hon'blb D. R. Ltall, C.S.I., called in and examined. 



3179. (Chairman.) Will you state what is your posi- 
tion in the service of the Government of India?— I 
am now Member of the Board of Revenue, Lower Provin- 
ces. 

3180. How long have you served in India ?— I have 
served in this country for over thirty-two years. 

3181 In what districts have you been employed and 
in what capacities?— The most of my service as a young 
man was in East Bengal, in the districts of Backergunge 
Tionerah, Faiidpur, and Dacca. In this last district I served 
nearly sixteen years as Assistant Magistrate, Sub-Uivisional 
Officer, Joint Magistrate, Collector, and OfBciating Commis- 
sioner. 

3182 In these capacities what opportunities had you 
of forming a iudement as to the facts of the use of opium : 
did vou see anything of the Chinese population P— When 
Suh-divisional Officer of the Munshiganj Sub-division, 
Naraingani, which was then largely frequented by 
CWuese junks, was under me. I also as Collector kept 



excise administration in my own hands. Subsequently, 
after my return from furlough, I was Inspector-General of 
Police for about three years, and Collector of the 24- 
Parganas and Officiating Commissioner of the Presi- 
dency Division for about two years. I was then for nearly 
seven years Commissioner of the Chittagong Division, and 
after my return from second furlough, I was appointed 
Commissioner of the Patna Division, whence I was trans- 
ferred to the Board of Itevenue, where I have been in 
charge of, among others, the Excise and Opium Departments. 
I have thus knowledge, more or less, of the whole province, 
hut'chiefly of East Bengal. 

3183. Will you tell us what is the opinion that you have 
formed from this extensive experience of the effect of 
opium upon those who consume it?— My experience is 
that opium is far the least hurtful of the three principal 
sources of excise revenue in Bengal, viz., opium, ganja, and 
alcohol. As regards its effects on the natives of the country, 
I hold the moderate use of opium to be beneficial in a 
malarious country like Bengal, and cases of immoderate 



flora. -D. R. 
Liyall, 
C.S.I. 



INDIAN OPUTM CnMlITfglON : 



Bon. D. R. 

Li/all, C.S.I. "^^ a'e very few and far between. Nor does even im- 
moderate use of opium cause such bud effects as the im- 

21 Nov. 18 93. moderate use of alc.hol. I cmu assert that I know no case 
in all my lonfr residence in India, in which 1 can say that I 
believe the death o[' any native has been due to immoderate 
habitual use of opium, while I know very many cases in 
whichdeath has been due to the excessive use of alcohol. 
A native who takes to alcohol, more particularly in its 
European forms, almost invariably takes to it in excess. 
This is not the case with opium, among iJengalie at least. 
It is said to be different with Burmese ; but from what I 
saw of Uiem in Chittagong;, especially in the Cox's Bazar 
sub-division, I was not able to come to the conclusion that 
in this respect Burmese differed from Bengalis. When I 
WHS Sub-divisional Officer of Munsbiganj, and later on 
Collecter of Dacca, many Chinese junks used to come to 
Naiainganj, and I studied the efiect of opium on the 
Chinese sailors. Some of these took opium in very large 
quantities and used to lie in a state of stupefaction, but 
next day these men were fit for their work, and did just as 
much as the abstainers and moderate smokers. This greatly 
impressed me, as I had come out with the usual ideas one 
gains in England that opium ruins a man body and soul, 
and I was so fully convinced that opium did these 
men no harm, that, when I was Collector of Dacca, 1 
proposed that they should be allowed to buy a seer each man 
to take with them for the homeward voyage, and this was 
sanctioned. I think DeQuincey is largely responsible for 
the general acceptance of the view that opium is so very 
harmful, and possibly when it is taken in the form of 
laudanum, it is more deleterious, and creates a greater 
craving than when taken, as it usually is here, in pills. 

3184j. What do you say to the effect of opium with 
regard to its loading to crime P— Opium never leads to crime 
of any kind, so far as my experience goes. It does not 
niake a man qurrrelsome or violent, but calms and soothes 
him, and in this respect its effects differ entirely from those 
of alcohol and ganja. 

3185. What do you say about the effect of opium from 
a medical point of view ? — I consider the use of opium in 
Bengal is to a very larye extent medical. It is used to keep 
off fever, and is the only excise article which a good 
Mahomedan can use for this purpose. It is therefore 
largely used in the malarious districts of the Burdwan 
Division, in Orissa, in Ohittagong, Murshidabad, Rangpur, 
and Malda, and also in Calcutta and the districts round it. 
The consumption in Calcutta is very large, partly owing 
to the number of Chinamen here, partly owing to there 
being a larger number of immoderate consumers here among 
the Mabomedans than elsewhere, but also because it is 
more largely used by the respectable classes of natives, 
chiefly by men over 40, than it is in the mofussil. This 
is generally done under medical advice, and no stigma 
attaches itself to the consumer's character. I may mention, 
as shewing that connexion with the Opium Department 
is not held as involving any moral stain on those serving 
iu it, that the son of Babu Keshab Chundra Sen, the great 
Brahmo Reformer, and brother of the llabarani of Knoh 
Bihar, and the son of JIahamahopadhyaya Mohesli Chundra 
Nyar.itna, G.I.E., Principal of the l^anskrit College, and an 
orthodox Hindu, are both in the Opium Department. There 
are also two Mahomedan gentlemen of good family iu 
the Department. 

3186. Would you express a belief from your experience 
which has been so great in Eastern Bengal, that the con- 
sumption of opium as a means of sensual enjoyment is 
comparatively limited p— I think it is very limited. I con- 
sider that the number of cases in which it is used for 
sensual enjoyment compared with the total consumption 
is very limited indeed. Ordinarily I should say that the 
consumption in Bengal is in no way immoral. 

3187. Do you believe it is possible that opium may be 
taken in limited quantities as an induli,'ence in the sense in 
which a glass of wine may be taken as an indulgence with- 
out moral harm ?■ — Such are my views, 

3188. What have you to say with regai'd to the proposals 
which have been urged for our consideration to the effect 
that the growth of the poppy and the manufacture and 
sale of opium in British India should be absolutely prohi- 
bited except for medical purposes p Ta'se the argument 
that rests upon the objections to the trade with China? — 
It used to be urged that we forced opium on the Chinese. 
I think that argument is pretty well exploded. I noticed 
when Mr. Alexander gave his evidence on the point, he 
chiefly referred to the ancient history of the matter. Now, 
Indian opium is simply used in China as the higher class 
Havana cheroots are used in England, or as Indian tea is 
used along with China tea. In the first case the Mandarins 
of North China and Pekin use the more expensive Indian 



opium, just as a rich man at home smokes an expensive 
cigar, and in the latter it is used to bring up the quality of 
the indigenous opium, hut its use in this respect is steadily 
declining, owing to the improvement in the home-grown 
drug ; and I am informed by men who know China that 
whereas formerly 75 per cent, of Indian opium was ordi- 
narily required to mellow the indigenous drug, 25 per cent, 
now suffices to produce an equal article. 

3189. Have you anything further you would like to say 
with reference to your view of the moral aspect of the 
question p — The medical evidence will deal with the matter 
much better than I can. It will put before the Commission 
that the Indian drug is a milder and less harmful drug than 
the Persian, containing as it does less morphia and move 
narcotine. I confess I fail to see any immorality'in such a 
trade, and the opponents of the present system seem to be 
on the horns of a dilemma. If opium is bad, then surely it 
is better to have it under Government control and to restrict 
the production, as is now done ; while if it is good, then 
why this outcry against it? Even if, for the sake of argu- 
ment, it be allowed to be possible to forbid the growth of 
opium together, such prohibition would be a gross political 
error, or even danger ; I wish to emphasize the word 
" danger : " I consider it to be an absolute danger, but it 
is impossible to allow it to be grown for medical purposes 
and for no other. 

3190. Do you think that absolute prohibition of the 
growth and use of opium in India would lead to smuggling 
and to evasion of the law ? — I believe that both total pro- 
hibition and prohibition for anything but medical purposes 
would lead to smuggling, and it would also be impossible to 
draw the line between its use for medical purposes and for 
pleasure only. In place of opium shops we should have the 
retail of opium by hakims and kabirajis and pansaris, and 
supervision would be more difficult than at present. Total 
restriction would mean smuggling from Native States and 
increased use of alcohol and ganja, both, as I hare already 
stated, more hurtful than opium. I refer the Commission 
to the opinion of Sir Ashley Eden who said that the cost 
of the preventive service would be absolutely prohibitive. 

3191. What have you to say to us as to the political 
effect of the policy of prohibition p— I hold that in a poli- 
tical point of view total prohibition would be so danger- 
ous, and would alienate so large a body of Her Majesty's 
subjects in India, as to be impossible. No good 
Mahomedan can take spirituous or fermented liquors, 
while he may take opium. If opium is prohibited, 
the opium-coHSuming Mahomedan will be driven either 
to spirits, to take which is contrary to their religion, or to 
ganja, which is physically more injurious. The dissatis- 
faction would be enormous, and I am not prepared to say 
that, fanned as it would be by professional agitators, it 
would not ;imount to disaffection and require the presence of 
more British troops in India. It would, in fact, arouse 
much the same feelings as any real attempt to "rob a poor 
man of his beer" would do in England. There is also 
another danger not confined to any class, and that is, the 
total inabilily of the native mind to grasp the fact of the 
possibility of the present agitation being without some 
motive. They cannot conceive that any body of intelligent 
human beings can go in for a crusade against what they 
have always held to be a harmless article out of which a 
large reveune is realized without their being called on to 
p,ay it, and not have some motive in the background ; 
and in this case the motive is supposed to be the spread and 
increase oi' the sale of imported European liquors. The 
same idea was started when the discussion took place in 
Lord Mayo's time, and is referred to in Sir E. Baring 
(Lord Cromer's) note, and it was mentioned to me the 
other day by an intelligent native gentleman. 

3192. What do you think would be the disposition of 
the people of India with reference to the restriction as 
regards the use of opium for non-medical purposes?— I 
think the people of India would object to restriction. My 
experience, as I have stated, is chiefly in East Bengal; but 
I have seen a good deal of Sikhs, Gurkhas, and other 
opinm-consumers, particularly Gurkhas. In the Lushai 
Hills Expedition opium was regularly served out to the 
opinm-consumers, and the men who consumed it did the 
same work as their comrades, and bore the hardships as well, 
if not better. _ One great advantage of opium as compared 
with alcohol in campaigns is its small bulk and consequent 
easy carriage. Thinking uatives of India say with truth, 
what right has England, which raises so large a revenue 
from spirits, wine, and beer, to come and try and stop our 
comparatively innocent equivalent? and any legislation in 
this direction would be viewed with groat disfavour. 



MINUTES Oi? Evidence. 



65 



3193. In considering this question it is evident that 
sliould a pieTeutive policy be adopted, there must be a 
serious loss of revenue. The Government of India has to 
be carried on, ar.d if it should be found impiaoticablo to 
meet the loss from the cessatiou of the opium tiatiic by eco- 
nomies, tlien tliere must be increased taxation ; what have 
you to say witli reference to the disposition of the people of 
India ? — I believe that among the pt'opie of India there is 
absolute unanimity. JCven the few organs of public opinion 
that favour prohibitive measures, say that the loss to the 
revenue should be made good by economy here and by re- 
ducing home charges ; but the utmost economy could not 
produce five to seven millions, and that sum would be re- 
quired, or in fact more in case the dissatisfaction amounted 
to disafPection. The bulk of the people of India are poor ; 
not poor in the sense of poor in England, but living from 
hand to mouth, though in a state of fair comfort and with 
very few hopele^s paupers ; and being thus poor they can- 
not stand direct taxation, which is also spcciiilly bad in 
India ^because so much of direct taxation fails to reach the 
State coffers. The only alternative ■would be to double the 
?alt tax, and I fancy the strongest anti-opiumist would hesi- 
tate to (irofiose this. In his evidence Bishop Thoburn has 
suggested a tobacco tax. This would be a most expensive 
tax to realise, and it would fall on exactly the same class as 
the salt tax. Almost every man, woman, and child in India 
consumes tohaec-o, and if taxation of this kind is to he im- 
posed, it would be infinitely better to double the salt tax, 
which is easily collected at a minimum of cost. I fail 
entirely, however, to see the equity of prohibiting men from 
using opium which they are willing to pay for, and to tax 
non-opium consumers to make up the deBcit. 

3194. I believe that you came prepared to make a state- 
ment to us with reference to the Bengal mcmopoly. It is 
not necessary that I should trouble you on that point. The 
Commission have conl'erred and we understand it to be the 
view of tliose members whose opinion in this respect we are 
specially bound to consider, that the mere cessation of the 
Bengal monopoly would not remove the objections which 
are entertained to the opium traffic. They hold that if such 
a traffic is permitted at all, the conduct of that traffic under 
the system of monopoly as it exists in Bengal is no particular 
aggravation of what might be considered to be the evils inse- 
parable from tliat traffic. I therelbre do not propose to re- 
examine yon on the Bengal monopoly. Before concluding 
your evidence-in-chief, I think I am right in assuming that 
you Were present on the occasion when Mr. Alexander gave 
his evidence P — Yes, I was present. 

3195. If you desire to do so, I think it is my duty 
to afford you the opportunity (jf making any observations 
you wish in regard to that evidence P — I desire to add 
a few words regarding Mr. Alexander's evidence. In 
the first place, I would desire to put on record the 
fact thai; has no doubt attracted the attention of the 
members of the Commission that his evidence deals 
very largely — in fact almost exclusively — with ancient 
history, more especially as regards the attitude of China. 
Next, I would note that paragraph 13 of the memorial 
identifies the Society's objects with the spread of Chris- 
tianity. The Government of India is a government by 
Christians strictly pledged to relijjious neutrality, and it 
would be most dangerous and opposed to tlie most solemn 
pledges if Government in any nay moved from this atti- 
tude. Mr. Alexander also stated that exeife opium was more 
intoxicating than medical opium. The opium is the same, 
the only difference being that the medical opium is selected 
(that is to say, it is the best opium that is sent in), and that 
it is dried in the laboratory, and not in the sun. The 
reason of Indian opium not competing with Turkey opium 
in England is that the price paid even for Turkey opium in 
England is less than the price realized in India for opium. 
If we competed, the price of Indian opium would be lower 
than that of tlie Turkey drug (that is, in the English market 
it would be lower), as the Indian opium contains less 
morphia. "With regard to farming licenses, I would only 
remark that in practice we find it impossible to put on a 
sufficiently high selling price in some districts. The range 
is from Es. 16 per seer in the Patna Division to Rs;-i2 
in Orissa. Communications have so improved that smug- 
gling is easy, and the profit on a seer bought at Patna and 
smufrgled to Calcutta is Rs. 12, In Chittagong, with the 
help of the farming system, the price in the south of the 
district has been raised as high as lis. 50 to 70._ That I 
may say was done in order to prevent smuggling into 
Burma. I may also note that only this morning I had 
a case before me in which 2 maunds of opium were seized at 
Mok;imeh while being sent down to Calcutta by a Patna 
vendor in order to get these Rs. 12 which I am speaking of. 
That is by no means a single case. I had it before me 
only this morning. Another point that requires notice is 



that, so far as I could understand, the Anti-Opium Son. B. R. 
bociety has not distinguished betweeu tha nmokm^ audi Lyall, C.S.I. 

An ?**'"- 0^ opium, as I think it should have done. „, .^ ;„.„ 

All the arguments regarding China refer to smoking, "'* ^°''- " ^^^- 

and not to eating. In India opinm is entirely eaten, 

and all that has been said in the evidence of different 

witnesses, except as regards chandu and madaU shops, 

relates to the eating of opium, and not to smoking. The 

licenses_ are perfectly separate for madak and chandu. 

Ihe opium which is consumed under these licenses is 

smoked, the rest is eaten. 

3196. Have you anythins else you would like to put in 
as part of yourevidence-in-chief P— I desire to draw attention 
to the memorial which has been put before the Commission 
by Mr. Phillips. That memoiial was sent to me by the 
Bengal Government to whom it had been referred by the 
Government of India, and I desire to make a few remarks 
upcm it. 

{Mr. Wilson.) We have been told that that was with- 
drawn. 

( Witness.) The note as originally drawn up contained by 
oversight an extract from a private letter, and it was that 
that I desired to withdraw. In the note which is now 
before you it has been excluded. A private letter was alluded 
to, which I had no right to quote. 

(Chairman.) I suppose if Mr. Lyall desires to make the 
statement in regard to the menorial, we may receive it. 

(Mr. Wilson.) The note was withdrawn, and I have 
neither read it, nor the remarks. 

(Chairman.) The document has been in our possession 
for perusal, and Mr. Lyall can be examined upon it, another 
day, unless he particularly wishes to say anything on behalf 
of the Government of India. 

(Witness.) I have been directed by the Secretary to the 
Government of India to present the note before you. 

(Mr. Wilson.) Of course it calls for a rejoinder. 

(Witness.) I should like to add one or two words more 
with reference to the evidence that has been given since. 
Reference was made in Mr. Phillips' evidence to the 
decayed appearance of Mahomedan families. Now I desire 
to say that the decay in Mahomedan families is not 
peculiar to Murshidahad ; it extends all over Bengal to 
my certain knowledge, and it is due to their Liggiuj; behind 
the Bengali in education and in general ability to conduct 
their own business. Most of the old Mahomedan families 
have allowed their estates to fall into the management of 
the more clever Hindus, who have gradually ousted them. 
It is to that I attribute the decay of Mahomedan families. 
I do not say that some are not opium-eaters, but the 
general decay is due, rot to the opium, but to the Maho- 
medans falling behind the Hindus in the race for life. 
Another point is this. It has been said that dispensaries 
could supply opium for Bengal, I have brought a list of 
Charitable Dispensaries which shews that in all Bengal 
in 18W2 there were 282 Charitable Dispensaries only, of 
which 77 were private, Goverainent having no conriection 
with them ; leaving only 205 dispensaries for all Bengal. 
Another point raised in Mr. Evans's evidence is the 
objection of the royts to cultivate. I can only say that 
knowingly no nressure is put up<in any ryot by the Gov- 
ernment of India to cultivate, and that yearly, I might 
almost say daily, I receive petitions from ryots against the 
Opium Agents and Sub- Agents for refusing to give them 
licenses. This very morning I sent some such petitions to 
Sub-Opium Agents for report. Instead of getting petitions 
objecting to being made to cultivate opium, the petitions 
that we receive at the Board of Revenue are almost entirely 
from ryots who complain that they have not been allowed 
to cultivate opium. 

3197. (Mr. Pease.) Yon remarked that opium was used 
to keep off fever and was the only "excise article " which a 
good Mahomedan could use for the purpose ; I suppose 
they have no difficulty in using articles that are not 
excise? — No ; that is why I put in the word "excise." 

3198. I believe there are many other remedies? — Yes, 
there is quinine, but I may say that there is a strong pre- 
judice amongst the natives, which we are unable to get 
over, against quinine ; they say it gives them headaches. 

3199. Are you aware that when the son of Babu Keshab 
Chundra Sen was appointed to the office, the Indian Mes- 
senger, the Sanjivatii and several other papers and the 
missionaries of Keshab Chundra Sen condemned the appoint- 
ment of his son as a slur upon his father's name p —I 
did not see those papers. 

3200. (Mr Wilson.) You say that opium is largely 
used in the malarious districts of the Burdwan division. 



66 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION '. 



Hon. D. E. in Orissn, and in other places. Is Oiissa very malarious ? 
Lyall, C.S.I. — Vevy muoli so, perhaps one of the most malarious parts of 

3201. You say that the price of opium in Orissa is Es. 32 

per seer ?— I can easily explain that. The price _ of 
opium is fixed with reference to the facility with which 
smugglino; c:iii he carried on. The Orissa districts are the 
most remote from the opium-producins; districts, and it 
is difficult to convey it there : therefore, the price is higher 
than in any other part of Bengal. 

3202. {Sir James Lyall.) The price to the vendor ?— Yesi 
of course. I may add that we have liad strong represen- 
tations made by the Assam Govemment to raise the price 
of opium in Rungpore and the neitrlihouring districts, but 
the Government of Bengal have been so far unabla to 
accede to the wishes of the Assam Government, simply oa 
the grounds that tlie facilities of smuggling in tliese dis- 
tricts are so great that raising the price would inevitably 
lead to more smuggling. 

3203. Raising the price to the vendor might cheapen the 
price for the consumer ?— Probably it might have that 
effect. 

3204. {Mr. Wilson.) I understand that the tendency of 
your evidence as of other evidence we have had, is that 
opium is a great advantage to the people both as a prophy- 
lactic and as a remedy in ca^e of fever ? — T hold it to be so : 
it is largely used as a sort of domestic medicine. 

3205. Is it not an apparent anomaly that in Orissa, which 
you siiy is one of themnst malarious dislricts, the price is ex- 
ceedinijly h'gh? — Exceedin^'ly high in one sense, but for the 
small amount sufficient for a dose t;he price is really 
exceedingly low. I mean that a man can get enough 
for a do^e for a very small amount. The do.ses taken here 
are perfectly infinitesimal. The ordinary native takes 
an amount of opium that should be almost lautjhed at 
in England as a dose of opium. It is a very small amount 
indeed, and these small doses a man can get for a very 
small amount. If you look at the statistics before you shew- 
ing the consumption in the whole of Bengal, you will see 
that the incidence of revenue per head is only Rs, '038, 
which is an exceedingly small amount. 

32ii6. Still the fact remains that the price is twice 
as high in Orissa as it is in Patna p — Yes. It is grown in 
Patna, and if we were to put a high price there, there vvcmld 
be smugi;ling. We are obliged to keep it down. It is next 
to the Nortb-West Provinces, where the price is Re. 1 lower. 

3207. You submit to us that doubling the price makes 
a great deal of difference for the Government, but no 
difference to the people ? — -Not very great. The people 
can still get enough for the purpose they require it for. 

3208. (Chairman.) The Government could make the price 
higher, but the3- could not put a check upon smua'gling? — 
Sir Charles Eliott was much in favour of raising the 
price, but he gave it up. 

3209. From an apprehension of smuggling p — Entirely. 

3210. You say that you put the opponents of the present 
system on the horns of a dilemma : if the opium is bad, it 
is better to have it under Government control. I suppose 
you know that they would say that if it was bad it was 
better to do away with it? — I do not think you can do 
away with it; the dangers would be too serious. I do not 
think that any Government iu India would think of doing 
away with the production of opium. 

3211. You have said that any legislation of a prohibi- 
tive character would be viewed with great disfavour, but you 
have a great deal of le,s,'islation already of a highly restrictive 
character ?— Restrictive, hut not prohibitive; you surely 
admit the difference. 

3212. There is undoubtedly a ditference, but do you think 
that people view the restrictive legislation with disfavour? 
— Distinctly. I believe if the people of India were polled, 
they would be in favour of the universal production of opium 
all over the country without restriction. It is the Govern- 
ment that has imposed restrictions, not the will of the 
people. 

3213. You have said that the bulk of the people of India 
are poor, but not poor in the sense of poor in England ? — 
We have no such thing in India as the poor that the Salva- 
tion Army tries to deal with. The residuum that there is in 
England scarcely exists in India. It may exist to a small 
extent. The ordinary cultivator is in many districts a poor 
man, but not poor iu the English sense of the word. He 
has not much, but the country is one in which he can live 
much cheaper than it is possible in England with compara- 
tive comfort. The state of the poor in India, even of the 
very poor, is different from that at home. We have not 
the sunken mass of poor that you have to deal with vA home. 



3214. Is there not a considerable portion of the pdp'ul,*' 
tion that only has one meal a day ?— I do not believe it. 
The last time t was in Patna I made full inquiries. I do 
not mean to say that there are not some, but the bnlk of 
the people certainly get a fair amount of food, even in 
famine time. 

3215. Is there such a thing as the " Behar Opium Man- 
ual "p_Yes, it is in three bulky volumes which, if desired, 
can be produced before the Commission. 

3216. I think when fever is exceedingly prevalent _ iu 
certain localities, Government is in the habit of sending 
apothecaries with considerable supplies of quinine?-- Yes, I 
tliink so. I have never been in one of those localities, but 
I have understood so. 

3217. In such cases does the Government also send free 
supplies of opium?— I really am not aware. That is a 
njedieal question which I am unable to answer. 

3218. Government does send out medicines, but what 
medicines you are not in a position to say ?— 'I'hat is so. 

321y. (Mr. Mowhray.) I believe in Bengal you have a 
system of druggists' permits ?— We have. 

3220. Does that come under your Department p— Yes. 

3221. Will you explain what the system is ? — They are 
allowed to take small quantities of opium, as much as they 
are expected to use in their legitimate business, but not 
such quantities as would allow them to sell to the people 
for anything but medical purposes. 

3222. Do they get those licenses cheaper than the 
others ? — It is a different form of license. They have no 
right to sell opium alone. 

3223. Therefore they pay less for the privilege ?— Yes. 
The whole statistics will be put before you by the Excise 
Commissioner. 

3224. Have you any reason to suppose that the system 
is abused? — Not at presents We restrict the amount 
given to these druggists to such an extent that I do not 
think they do abuse it at present. If they were allowed to 
take what they wanted, of course it would he abused. 

3225. I suppose those druggists' permits do not profess 
to supply all the opium required for medical purposes? — 
Nothing like it ; not a Imndredth part I should say. 

3226. If you extended the system there would be 
more risk of its being abused ? — If yon extended the 
system, from the evidence I have heard, I take it that every 
Kabiraj, Hakim and Vaid in every village would require 
a license. 

3227. Could yon eive us any idea of the difference in 
the retail price in Patna and Orissa ? — No. The retail price 
is generally a few rupee.^ more than the price at which 
they buy. It depends very much on the license fees. 

3228. The result of the difference between the Govern- 
ment price in Patna and in Orissa is to increase the profit of 
the vendor in Patna P — No; it is sidd very cheap in 
Patna. Practically the license fees almost come to no- 
ihino', so that opium is sold almost at the same rate as 
Government retails it. If you look at the statement before 
yon, you will see that the license fees in the Patna division 
only amount to Es. 5,398. 

3229. Practically you find yourselves compelled to sell 
it verv cheajily in the districts where it is grown ? — Yes, 
we are compelled to do it. 

3230. (Mr. Sarida.'! Ve/iaridas.) You state that the crop 
is a paying one apart from the advances made upon it ? — In 
a favourable year the ciop is a very paying one; dnring 
the last three years we have had bad crops and thej- have 
not been so paying ; there has been a smaller result. But 
even in bad years it pays better than ordinary crops, an! 
nea'l}' as well as other t;arden crops. Opium is essentially 
a garden crop. It is grown on a small piece of land close 
to the man's house, not in his field. 

3231. Is not injustice done to others who grow other 
crops by these advances to the cultivators who grow 
opium ? — Any mau can get advances who chooses to cul- 
tivate. 

3232. To cultivate the poppy P — We give advances for no 
other crop. 

3233. Then so far do you not do an ininstiee to those 
who cnltivate other crops? — If you choose to call it so. 
Any man can grow it who chooses to apply for it. 

3234. (Mr. Fanshawe.) We may take it that the poppy 
crop does not occupy the whole of a man's ground ? — No, 
I know no case in which the poppy crop occupies the whole 
ground : it is an infinitesimal part of the man's laud — a 
very small part close to his house. 



MINUTES OP EVIDKNCB. 



67 



8235. [Sir James "Ly all.) I trnderstand that in the 
South, Chittagong, the price had been raisi'd to Rs. 50 or 
Bs. 70 per seer — that is, to the consumer ? — Yes. 

3236. What is the Grovernment selling price to the vendor 
in Chittagong ?— I think Ru. 28. 

3237. Will you explain how the price has been raised to 
the consumer from Rs. 28 to Rs. 70? — I happened to be Com- 
missioner of Chittafjnng when the arrangement was made, 
and I can therefore explain it. We had had strong repre- 
sentations from the Burma Government as to the 
amount of opiuin smuggled from Chittagong into Burma. 
A iundrcd and fifteen maunds were consumed in one year 
in Cox's liazar subdivision ; the real consumption could 
not be more tlian twelve or fourteen maunds, all the 
rest was smuggled into Burma. The Burmese Govern- 
ment made direct representations to the Bengal Govern, 
uient, and they referred it to me as Commissioner of the 
Division to see how it could be stopped. The only way we 
could think of was by putting an artifiuially high license 
on these Khops. We restricted the sale of these southern 
shops to so many seers pei' month, and we made them pay 
a license fee in proportion to the number of seers they 
were allowed to take, which, of course, raised the price enor- 
mously to the people who bought it for consumption in 
Burma. 'Ihat was the only way we saw of doing it. 

3238. A fixed fee, not a farming license P — Yes, it was 
altogether an exceptional arrangement. 

3239. In other districts in Bengal when the price to the 
vendor is low, that is, where the producing districts are not 
near, is the farming system used ? — Yes, entirely. 

3240. And the result is to raise the price to the con- 
sumer ? — Yes. 

3241. The ohjeot of raising the price to the consumer in 
two ways — that is, partly by keeping up the price of the 
opium sold to the vendor, and partly by farming licenses, 
is, I understand, to prevent opium vendors from dealing in 
smuggled opium ? — Such is the intention. 

3242. Do you in your official experience know of any in- 
stances of GoTernment officials being discharged or degraded 
through the aliohol habit ? — More than once — ^a good 
many. When I was Inspector General of Police, I am 
sorry to say that I had to deal with more than one case ; 
and I have also had to deal with such cases in the Opium 
l>epartment. 

3243. Have you known of any instances in which 
Government officials have been discharged or degraded 
through the opium habit ? — Never ; not even a native 
officer. 

3244. {Mr. Pease.) Do you see any disadvantage in 
doing away altogether with the system of licensing chandu 
shops? — No fnrther than it is an interference with the 
Ifberty of the subject. I do not say that there is any very 
great objection to it. In Calcutta I do not think it could 
be done, l)ecause we have so many Chinamen here. In the 
moFussil I do not think it will be any very great hardship. 
It is an interference with the man's liberty if he buys a 
certain amount of opium, just as if I bought a bottle of 
whisky I should think it an interference with my liberty 
if I were not allowed to make whisky toddy. If a man 
buys 5 tolas of opium, I do not see vi'hy he should not make 
it into chandu and emake it if he chooses. 



3245. You are aware that Govei-nment has largely Hon. D. S. 
reduced the number of licenses for the public shops in the Lyalh O.S.I. 
North- West, the madak and chandu shops, from 324 to 14? — „ . „ ^„g„ 
They are being reduced largely. It is the most harm- °^" 

ful means of taking opium as far as my knowledge 
goes. 

3246. What do you say with regard to madalc ? — It is 
more harmful than eating. 

3247. But there would be no particular difficulty in 
reducing the license shops for madak or chandu ? — I do not 
anticipate the same danger that I should anticipate if 
opium were prohibited altogether. 

3248. {Mr. Wilson.) I understand you to say in reply 
to Mr. Veharidas that anybody can get an advance and 
grow opium who chooses to anply for it? — Provided the 
land at the disposal of the Sub- Deputy Opium Agent has 
not been already given away. 

3249. We heard from Mr. Rivett-Carnac yesterday that 
a number of persons are from time to time refused on 
various grounds? — Yes, tlio Opium Decartment refuses 
any one who is, in the language of the Department, a bad 
cultivator, that is a bad gardener ; because the opium 
garden produce requires more care than must crops. 

3250. Also if Government does not require so much 
somebody must be cut down ?— Yes. 

3251. Therefore it is not quite correct to say that any- 
body can get an advance? — Provided there is land still 
available ; that is what my meaning was. 

3252. {The Maharaja of Barbhanga.) I should like to 
ask a few questions with regard to suggestions for the 
total abolition of the poppy cultivation. First, is the poppy 
plant cultivated simply for the sake of opium manufacture, 
or is any other use made of it? — The ryot in addition to 
what he receives from Government, first for the opium it- 
self, next for the leaf, and again for the trash, is also allow- 
ed to sell in the open market the poppy seed, which sells at 
a high rate. 

3253. How much per acre do you think he makes from 
the poppy seed P — -The product I think is under a uiaundper 
acre if I remember rightly. I should not like to give the 
amount of poppy seed. I think it is about 36 or 39 seers 
per acre, but I am not quite sure. 

3254. What is the price at which the seeds sell ? — I am 
not prepared to say. 

3255. Besides the poppy-seed is there any stalk of the 
poopy ? — Yes, it is used as manure. I should like to add one 
word more. In a pnblicaticm of the Anti-Opium society that 
I have seen this morning, and had not seen till then, it is put 
forward as a strong indictment against tlie use of the poppy, 
that no less than 77,378 seers are used in Bengal every year. 
I must say that looks a pietty big sum, but if you reduce it, 
and deal with it with reference to the population, and ajiain 
deal with the population according to what one anti-opium 
witness said was the probable consuujption, — 25 percent, 
for the adult males, — I find that the yearly consumption of 
the adult male in the population of Beugal amounts to j^ths 
of a rupee in weight in a year, which I think is not very 
much. 



The witness withdrew. 



Mb. J. L. Hopkins called in and examined. 



3256. {Sir James Zyall.) I believe you are a civilian of 
aOjears' standing P— Yes. 

3257. You are now Opium Agent for Benares and Patna? 
-Yes. 

3258. You have only recently joined the Department 
as 'Opium Agent P^Only six months. 

3259. I do not propose to ask you questions as to the 
details of the agency system, as we shall have other 
witnesses with greater experience? -I should like to explain 
that there is only one difference in the Opiuin Agency at 
Patna and Benares. I pay commission to the Gomashtas. 
The Asamiwar system is not so much in force in Patna 
as in Benares. 

3260. What is that ? — It is the system by which the 
advances are paid direct to the cultivators without the 
intarvjentijn of the lurabardar. 



3261. From what yon have seen in your long experience, 
do you think that people who take opium habitually end 
by taking it to such an extent as seriously to injure their 
mental or physical powers or to shorten their lives?— I 
never came across a case of excess in opium in the whole 
of my career in India. 

3262. You never came across a case ? — Not one. 

3263. Have you known cases of officials. Native or 
Eurasians, being dismissed or degraded in consequence of 
the alcohid habit ? — I cannot say that I have. I do not 
recollect any now. 

3264. Do you know of any oases in which they have 
been dismissed or degraded .Brom the opium habit ? — No. 

3265. In your opinion is there any ease for a prohibition 
of the use of opium in this Province except for medical 
use ?— No, certaiuly not. 

I 2 



Mr. J. L. 

H.o$hins. 



68 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



Mr. J. L. 

Sop kins. 



3266. Do you tliink tbat medical use can be distinguished 
from non-medical use ?— No. Asa rule opium is used iu 
the first instani-e, properly spealdng, for medical use. It is 

24 Not. 1 893. used in cases of insomnia, irritability of the nerves caused 
by excessive lieat, overwork and malaria. 

3267. Do you think that a system of providing opium for 
medical use only could be invented and worked properly ? — 
I do not see how it could. It is an administrative act and 
for my part I do not see how any distinction could be made, 
because the consumption of opium amongst people over 50 
is so very considerable. I do not mean tbat they take exces- 
sive quantities, but so many people take opium. 

3268. What do the natives think of the proposal to pro- 
hibit the use of opium except for rae<lical use ? — I do not 
think they have thouj^bt much about it, if at all. 

3269. Have they heard of it lately? -Yes. But they 
give no opinio'i on tlie subject ; they have no thought about 
it. They cannot understand it. They say that opium is 
of such general use and consumptinn that it would be im- 
possible to prohibit it. It would be a great hardship too. 
In the first place the medical use of opium is dependant on 
a medical certificate— the oertificnte of the medical officer 
ill the district. Practically speaking there are no compe- 
tent medical officers in the District. There is the Civil 
Surgeon and his assistant at bead-quarters and at sub-divi- 
sions, but elsewhere they are only stationed at dispensaries, 
which are comparatively few in number. 

8270. Would the people, or any large part of them, be 
willing to bear the whole or part of the cost and the losses 
involved? — Certainly not. 

8271. Is there any part of the opium excise system 
which you think ought to be altered on moral grounds? — 
I do not raj'self consider that the opium shops themselves 
are capable of being altered. The opium license is very 
generally given to a moodi and sold as a drug by the moodi. 
There used to be a moodi pretty well in every village 
where opium used to be sold. As a rule the opium vendor 
is a moodi iu the agricultural districts ; in towns it is 
different. 

3iJ72. What would you say is the size of the circle in 
which there is one opium shop ? — I should think it is 
about 50 square miles — quite. 

3273. Do the same classes of people generally use both 
opium and alcohol? — Certainly not. 

3274. If they use one they generally do not use the 
other ? — Not generally. Alcohol is u^^ed by the lowest 
classes; opium by the better classes. Aloiholis used con- 
siderably by khayastks, membeis of the writer class. 

3275. If the use of opium were checked, do you think 
that other stimulants would take its place? — Certainly they 
would. 

8276. Have you any information as to the magnitude of 
the interest bound up with opium iu the districts of your 
Agency in which the poppy is cultivated and the loss 
to the cultivator involved in such prohihiiion ? — 
Kor this I refer you to the statement anpended to 
my notes. The number of licensed cultivators in 
iy92-93 was 637,157, and the sum disbursed amongst them 
over 80 lakhs of rupees. It is impossible to say how the 
withdra\fal of this sum would atfect the landlords ; it would 
mpan a oonsideiable reduction in their rent reioipts, for so- 
called poppy lands are the highest rented lan-ls in the 
neighbourhood to which they belong. The withdrawal of 
such a large sum from agricultural indu.stry and general 
circulation is bound to produce distress. Landholders as a 
rule support poppy cultivation and encourage it; cultivators 
rank it with tobacco, potatoes and sugarcane as a profitable 
crop. Poppy employs the female^ and young people of a 
family and produces a handsome return. The items of 
profit are as follows :— Opium, poppy-seed, poppy-leaf, 
trash, manure. It would pay to cultivate poppy for its 
seed and the valuable manure it produces. Poppy seed oil 
is used ill India for cooking purposes, and the seed is ex- 
ported to France, Italy, etc., wherever olive oil is produced. 
I think it right to note that to the ordiniiry cultivator and 
labourer, having reference to their diet, clothing, and 
general simplicity, one rupee represents the same v.alue 
that ten shillings does to an Engl.sh labourer: there is no 
class in this country which represents the English farmer. 
Therefore 80 lakhs of rupees represents to them what 
£4,0OC,tiOO would represent to the British labourer and 
email cultivator ; and we must consider the withdrawal of 
the monopolywith reference fo the withdrawal of the 80 
lakhs of rupees which the cultivators receive lor opium ; 
a very largo portion of the sum would have to be met by 
relief proceedings on an extensive scale. 



3277. I understand that the proposal to abolish the 
monopoly is now being withdrawn ? — Yes. 

3278. Have you any further remarks to make ? — No. 

3279. (Mr. Wilson.) You have stated that no case has 
come under your notice of the habitual use of opium for 
non-medical purposes ? — None. 

3280. Habitual use of opium for non-medical purposes 
is unusual?— I say it is generally used in cases of illness. 

3281. That is the commencement of the use ?— Yes. 

3282. Not the continuance ? — No. 

3283. Would you wish to modify or explain^ that ? — I 
think I said that the non-medical use of opium is unusual. 
It commences with the medical use, and it is continued. 

3284. You say that it would pay to cultivate the poppy 
for its seed and the valuable manure it produces ? — Yes. 

3285. You do not mean apart from the opium altcw 
gether p — Yes. 

3286. Do you mean that the cultivator having grown 
the poppy has got all his value in the seed and. the man- 
ure left behind, and what hi gets for the opium is clear 
gain ?— I have said t'lat the poppy seed is used for the 
manufacture of oil which is largely used for cooking 
purposes in India, and besides that it is largely bought for 
the continent for the adulteration of olive oil. 

3287. I want to know whether I am to understand that, 
in your opii'ion, poppy cultivation would pay though there 
were no opium produce at all ? — Yes, I will explain, 
livery seer of opium will give a return of poppy-heads, 
which would give two maunds of poppy-seed ; therefore if 
you have six maunds you get twelve inaunds of seed, 
and twelve maunds of seed would sell for R.i. 37-8-0. 

3288. Then you say that the monev that the cultivator 
gets for the opium is clear gain into his pocket ? — Cer- 
tainly, of course if he gets a fair return for the poppy seed. 
Sometimes there are onlj' two seers of poppy per bigha, 
and in that case it would not pay. 

3289. You have told us that the poppy land is more 
highly rented than the other? — It is. 

3290. If a. cultivator is refused an ad%-ance and refused 
a license to grow opium, does he pay less rent upon that 
land ? — Yes. 

3291. It is not inherent in the particular patch of land, 
but the question is whether he gets the poppy crop or 
not? — It would depend on the crop. 

8292. The zemindar would reduce the rent? — Most pro- 
bably ; I cannot say for certain. Whenever the ryot culti- 
vates the poppy the rent is raised to the rate of the poppy 
land usual iu the neighbourhood. 

3293. We understood from Mr. Rivett-Carnao yesterday 
that the zemindars had no occasion and no inteiest whatever 
to put any pressure on the ryot under any circumstances to 
grow the poppy ? — That may be in the North- Western 
Provinces ; the zemindar there is largely the Government. 
Zemindirs in the Patua Agency are zemindars under the 
Permanent settlement. 

3294. I should like to get it as clearly as possible 
whether the zemindar can and does raise or lower his rent 
according to whether a particular cultivator A B gets 
permission to grow opium or not ?— If A B for the first 
time sowed the poppy in certain land, that land would be 
raised to the poppy rate usual iu the village to which be 
belongs. 

3295. And if he was refused a license in the following 

year the zemindar would reduce him to the original rent? 

No ease of that sort has come to my notice, but I imagine 
it would be reduced again. You must know that poppy 
land requires four or five years cultivation to come into 
thorough bearing. The first year gives a small return, the 
second a larger return, the third a still better, and the 
fourth and fifth years will give a full return. 

S296. Do you receive every year an oflScial intimation 
as to the amount of land that should be devoted or the 
amount of opium that should be produced ?— The quantity 
of opium that should be produced. We are forbidden un- 
der the orders of Government to exceed the average area of 
the previous five years. 

3297. Sometimes you have to reduce that?— I think 
that three or four years ago in my Agency ten per cent, of 
the cultivation was reduced all round. 

3298. My question was this — was the enhanced rent of 
the district reduced by ten per cent, or not on the poppy 

culti'^.ition ? — I cannot say. 

3299. You do not know ? — No, it was before my time. 



MTNUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



3300. (The Maharaja of Darhhanga.) You have said 
that there is a special raie fur poppy lai'idsp— Yes. 

3301. According to tlie Tenancy Act, is it not the custom 
that the rent at which tlie land is assessed is not accordinif 
to the crop grown on it, but according to the quality of 
the laud?— It is so. 

3302. Therefore if a tenant chooses to cultivate the 
poppy on land upon which he has hitherto grown other 
crops, can the landlord easily, acoordinof to the law, ask for 
an increase in tlie rent ? — Thiit is a point of law that I have 
not studied. The poppy rate of the mauza (village) in which 
the poppy is raised is always charged to the poppy cultivator. 

3303. Do you hnow that the rates applying to poppy 
land and tobacco land are tbe same? -Poppy and tobacco 
lands are about the same. 

3304. ^ If the poppy is abolished, the ryot cannot ask for 
a deduction on that ground ? — I suppose it depends upon 
the crops sown. 

3305. {Mr. Fan.shawe ) Is there Hnother point in regard 
to the opium monopoly which you wish to bring out? 



There is one point in favour of the opium monopoly which Mr. J^ X. 
has probably escaped notice ; it is that it enables cultivators Mopkint. 

to improve their holdings in spite of the zemindars, who, as 

a rule, oppose all improvements for fear they should be re- 2't N ov. 189 3. 
gistered and reduction of rent or compensation claimed, and 
they thus nullify one of the beneficent purposes of the 
Tenancy Act. 

3."^06, Kindly explain what you mean by Ihat? — Im- 
provements are registered under the Benjral Tenancy Act. 
When a ryot is ejected, he is entitled to compensation. 
Perhaps I am wrong in talking about a reduction of rent. 
I am not quite sure. 

3307. Why does this system allow him to make improve- 
ments ? — We make well advances. 

8308. The Government advances money to make wells? 
— Yes, the money is advanced to the ryot wiihout interest ; 
the ryot makes the well, and he repays the money in instal- 
ments. The well then constitutes an improvement. 

3309. That enables him to ask for a reduction? — No, it 
entitles him to compensation if he is ejected. 
* 3310. That is what you were referring top — Yes. 



The vitness withdrew. 



Dr. Feedebic Pinsent Matnabd called in and examined. 



3311. {Sir William Rnherts.) I understand that you 
are a medical officer in charge of the workmen at the 
Patna opium factory p — Yes. 

3312. before you had that duty, what experience had 
you in India? — I had served in the Punjab, in the Korth- 
Western Provinces, and behar, with Native troops of all 
ranks over 5,000 in number and of all classes and all 
castes. They were Sikhs, Kajputs, Dogras, Hindustanis and 
various Punjabis. 

3313. I presume that those who work at the factory in- 
variahly consult you in case of illness? — Yes, I am in 
medical charge. 

3314. How many workmen are there there ? — The maxi- 
mum number employed this year was 2,758, and the mini- 
mum number 606. 

3315. Altogether your experience has been in two rather 
different states? — But in between those two services I was 
in civil employ. I was Civil Surgeon at Burdwan and 
Nuddea, both in Lower Bengal, and highly malarious dis- 
tricts : so much so that in Nuddea the popnlaiion between 
the two last censuses is said to have decreased over 30 per 
cent, from malaiial diseases. 

3316. Have you opportunities of judging how far the 
opium habit prevailed in those places ? — It is always difficult 
to form an opinion as to how many men eat opium unless 
some effects are apparent. 

3317. So that j'ou can only give an impression?— The 
troops I serve with, have the reputation of being opium- 
eaters, hut they do not exhibit any ill effects from the opium. 

3318. Was opi\im served to them p — On field service 
yes. 

3319. They did not buy it themselves? — In cantonments 
it was not served. It is never supplied to the troops by 
Government. 

3320. They have to huy what they use?— I suppose 
so. 

3321. Referring to your experience with these regi- 
ments, did you observe any ill effects from opium in any 
case ? — I can only remember one man, a Sikh, who was an 
opium-eater to a rather larger extent than usual ; he took 
about 30 grains daily and occasionally he would be stupid, 
«o much so that it was decided to pension him ; but he was 
of a considerable age. 

3322. With that exception could you tell by the look of 
the men who used to take opium and who did nut ?— No, I 
was surprised to find the men opium-eaters on that ac- 
count — that I could not see that they were so. 

3323. Did yon see anything in the shape of disease or 
illness that yon could attribute to opium in these regi- 
ments ? — Certainly not. 

3324. Turning to yonr other experience in the Patna 
Opium Factory, may we assume that there was a consider- 
able consumption of opium amongst the people you had to 
do with ? — I am not aware of it. - 

3325. You mean you could not see the effect ? — As far 
as the factoi-y hands are concerned I do not helieve that 
they consume opium. 



3326. Not any of them? — I have never seen any effects, 
and I think, considering that one sees them all day long, 
and that their duties are severe, necessitating great shtrp- 
ness of mind, and so on, that one would catch them trip- 
ping if they were in the habit of consuming opium ; but it 
is unknown in the factory. 

3327. You say it was an unknown practice among the 
factory hands ? — Yes, unknown. 

3328. Do I understand you to say, not merely that it 
was not known to you, hut that it was rot talked of or that 
it was not understood to be the case that the factory hands 
did use opium ?— I made very searching inquiries from all 
the officers of the factory who spent their lives there, and 
their different subordinates, and I could not hear of any 
case of opium-eaters among the factory hands. 

3329. It is a malarious district about Burdwan and even 
about Patna I suppose ? — There is a certain amount of 
malaria about Patna, but not so much as in Lower Bengal, 

3330. Has it come to your notice that children are sub- 
ject to malaria? — I think they are very subject to mala- 
ria and the effects in their case are more disastrous than in 
the case of adults. 

3331. How do you recognise that fact? — By an enlarged 
spleen and by malarial cachexia. 

3332. You speak of an enlarged spleen as a well-known 
sign of malarial disease P— Yes, I have seen habies in arms 
with enlarged spleens in Burdwan brought to the dis- 
pensary. 

3333. Does it appear to you possible that they might 
have been b»rn of malarial mothers and have been mala- 
rial themselves?— I should say it is very possible, but I 
have not seen any instances. 

3334. Do you think quinine could altogether replace 
opium in these malarial districts p — 1 should say not. 

3335. Why not? — Even if the present sj-stem of using 
pice packets were so extended that every individual could 
obtaio them, I do not t'Dink it could replace opium, because 
in these districts other diseases prevail,— bowel complaints 
and diabetes, which are more common in Lower Bengal, 
aud in these diseases opium is very valuable. 

3336. Is it used as a popular domestic remedy or under 
medical prescription ? — It is not possible to get a medical 
prescription in the case of a grent proportion of the popu- 
lation. They have to use it as a domestic remedy. 

3337. Are they within reach of medical advice P — No, 
very few. 

3338. I thought there was a dispensary system in 
India? — So there is, but it cannot reach the great masses of 
the population For instance, the district of Nuddea, where 
I was Civil Surgeon, is 3,404 square miles with a popula- 
tion, according to the 1881 census, of over 2 millions. I 
was the imly Kuropean medical officer in that di-itrict. I 
had an Assistant Surgeon anda number of native hospital 
assistants and five dispensaries >cattered over the district ; 
hut in spite of it all there are a large number of people who 
cannot avail themselves of these dispensaries, ^ho cannot 
travel the necessary distance. 



Dr. F. P. 

Maynard, 



70 



INDIAN OPIOM COMMISSION 



Dr. V. P. 

Mai/nard. 

24 Nov. 1893. 



*?339. They have native doctors I presume ? — I think 
that in many of the villages there are hakims, but their 
knowledge is small. 

3310. Is it the opium that is made at the factory that 
is used in thnt district as a domestic or popular remedy p — 
It is the opium obtained from the licensed vendors I pre- 
sume, and that must have been manufactured at the factory, 
or it would be contraband and would be seized. 

3341. I think you have paid some attention to the 
analysis of various classes of opium p — Yes, I have given in 
some tables, to be handed in to the Commission, compiled 
from the laboratory records of the Fatna Opium Factory. 

3342. Will you tell us broadly what are the differences 
between the opium you make at Patna and the Smjrna or 
the Turkey opium p— The deductions I have made ironi 
these tables are that the opium grown in Behar contains 
more morphia than either Persian, 1'27 to 1 ; or Chinese, 
159 to 1 (though this analyi-is ia open to doubt on accnunt 
of the adulteration of the Chinese specimens that we receive 
for analysis), but less than Smyrna, 1 to 1'868, or Malwa, 
1 to 1'02. The Behar opium contains more narcotine than 
the Persian, 1-26 to 1; the Chinese, 1'39 tol; Smyrna 
365 to 1; Malwa 1'39 to 1. The contrast with Smyrna 
ii very marked. Behar contains 3'65 times as much narcotine 
as the Smyrna opium does. The proportion ot morphia to 
narcotine in theBehar opium is 1 to 1'59 ; Smyrna 4-26 
to 1 (4 times as much). 

3343. The Patna opium is very like the Persian 
opium P — It is very similar. 

3344. But richer in narcotine P — Yes, it contains more 
narcotine than any other variety, and it also contains 
more extractive matter. 

3345. The samples of opium contain the same ingredi- 
ents, but vary in their proportion P — Yes, it is the projior- 
tion. 

3346. Of course you are aware that opium is an ex- 
tremely complex substance, with a great number of active 
piinciples ? — Yes. 

3347. And I presum? you will tell us that the main 
effect of Patna opium is the same as our medicinal opium 
in England P— No, 1 do not think it is. 

3348. You draw a distinction p — There is a marked dis- 
tinction. 

3349. Will you tell us the distinction p — Smyrna opium, 
which is the officinal drug in use in Europe, contains a much 
larger proportion of morphia and a much smaller proportion 
of narcotine, 

3350. By doubling the dose it would be about the 
same? — The people who consume Indian opium regularly 
are consuming narcotine, and narcotine is a tonic and 
antiperiodio similar in its effects to quinine. 

3351. It has anti-malarial properties p — Yes. 

3352. But not equal to quinine P — No. 

3353. I understand that Patna opium is used medici- 
nally P— Yes, in India, and we supply from the Patna Fac- 
tory all the medical stores aud dep6ts in India. Tliere 
are two kinds of medical opium, one in cake and one in 
powder. 

3354. We were told by Dr. Rioe that he used opium 
much more freely than some of his medical brethren at 
home ; perhaps that was the reason ; because he used 
opium poorer in morphia p — Possibly. 

3355. Do you think it was likely ?— I think it was 
qnite possible. 

3356. I presume that all the analyses you have given 
are taken from authorities ?— They are all from recognized 
authorities. 

3357. The variety of opium you send out as medicinal 
is called Garden Patna Opium, is it not ?— Yes. 

3358. And what do you call that which is sent out for 
general use ? — It is all garden opium ; it ia the same kind 
of opium. We pick out the medical opium on account of 
its fine grain, and being of high consistency, and therefore 
not requiring so much labor in the manufacture. It is all 
perfectly pure opium. We ijave no distinction in the districts 
from which medical opium comes. We have perhaps one 



jar from one district and one from another. There is no 
special place for growing medical opium. 

3359. Practically there is no distinction? — No. 

3360. I understand so far as your experience goes that 
you have not witnessed, except in the case you mention, 
any ill effects on the health of the population from tha 
use of opium ?— No. 

3361. Have you noticed any difference in their charac- 
ter and their moral faculties ? — I have not seen the ill 
effects of opium. 

3362. Among the soldiers P— No, I have not. 

3363. [Mr. Pease.) What is the distinction between the 
medical and the other opium? -Medical opium is opium 
of 90 degrees consistencii, with 10 per cent, of moisture. 
The difference consists iu the waj' in which this degree of 
consistence is arrived at. The opium is dried in shallow 
trays in the shade, and it is worked by hand every few days 
until it dries up to 90 degreee cnn.sistence; then it is 
pressed into cakes and issued in that way. The opium 
for excise differs in being dried in the sun. 

3364. What is the object of making a difference in the 
process p — 1 cannot say how the difference originated, but 
the rcsnlt is diffeient. To the touch and to sight tb« 
opium is not the same as the Abkari opium. 

3365. The analysis is the same? — Yes. 

3366. And the efi'ects upon the consumer are the same ? 
—I believe so — precisely tlie saute. 

3367. Therefore if doctors prescribed the ordinary opium 
it would have the same effect as medical opium?— The 
ordinary Indian Abkari opium — I beliefe it would ; not 
the Smyrna. 

3368. (Mr. Wilson.) Is what you call medical opium in 
cakes exactly the same as medical opium in powder p — No. 

The other variety of medical opium in powder is the same 
opium dried on a steam table until all the moisture is 
evaporated and the powder results ; it is pure opium at 100 
degrees. 

3369. Then, as far as you know, the difference is purely 
one of moisture F the quantity of water iu it?— Yes; the 
chemical comi_)osition I believe is the same. 

3370. If I were to purchase a quantity of ordinary opium 
dried on the steam table until it is 90 degrees consistence? 
— That is not dried in trays in the shade. 

3371. It is drier than ordinary opium? —Yes, it is drier 
than ordinary opium. 

3372. What is the consistence of the ordinary opium 
which you send out from the factory?— We send to China 
opium of 75 degrees consistency ; the Abkari is 90, and the 
medical 90 and 100. 

3373. The medical powder is 100 P- Yes. 

3374. {Mr. Mowbray.) Do I understand you to say that 
opium is actually served out to Sikh troops on service ? — I 
believe it, is. 

3375. Is that within your own personal knowledge ? — I 
was (in service in ihe Black Mountain h.xpeuition, and then 
opium could be had as a ration in place of tea by the men 
who were in the habit of taking it. 

3376. {Mr. Fan sh awe.) What regiments were yon ser- 
ving in P— I was with a section of a field hospital and with 
a Wing of the 4th Sikhs aud a Wing of the 2nd-5th Gurkhas. 

3377. Then were you referring to these troops when you 
said that an opium ration was served out —Sikhs and 
Gurkhas p — Sikhs. 

3378. Only Sikhs p— As far as I know. 

3379. You only know that onium was served out as a 
ration in the field and to the Sikhs ?— They could obtain 
it It was not served out unless it was asked for. 

3380. {Mr. Pease.) In place of tea p— The idea was that 
the man could take tea or opium as he pleased. 

3381. [Mr. Wilson.) Do I understand that these Sikhs 
could apply for a, ration of opium ?— I was not c.mnected 
with the issue of rations in any way. I simply knew as a 
matter of common knowledge that it was obtaiuable. I 
cannot say what the system was. 

3382. Was it a limited quantity P— Distinctly. 

3383. What was the quantity ?— I do not remember, 
but it was limited. It is three years ago. 



The witness withdrew. 
Adjourned till to-morrow at 10-30. 



MINUTES OP EVIDENCE. 



71 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Buildings, Calcutta. 



THIRTEENTH DAY. 

Saturday, 25th November 1893. 



PBE8EKT ; 



SiE WILLIAM ROBERTS, M.D. (in the ChaIe). 



The Right Hououbablb Loed Beassb?, K.C.B. 
'The Hon'ble Sib Lachbmeswae Singh Bahadue, 

Mahakaja of Darbhanoa, K.C.I.E. 
Mb. R. G. C. Mowbray, M. P. 
,, A.. U. d'anshawe. 



Me. AbtHub Pb48b. 

„ HaRIDAS VEHAfirBAS Desai. 

„ H.J. Wilson, M. p. 
Me. J. Pbhsoott Hbwett, C.I.E., Secretary. 



SuEGEON-CoLONEL RoBEET Haevet, M.D., .M.R.C.P., D.S.O., called in and examined. 

habit, many others— and this is, I think, especially true of 
soldiers and others who know what is said against opium — 
will strenuously deny that they use it, or will admit it 
reluctantly to a medical man. 

3391. Have you known many instances ? — 1 have known 
repeated instances of this. 

3392. You are now speaking of persons who take opium 
in moderation p — Yes, in moderation. 

3393. Were they inclined to increase the dose ?— Many 
people, of course, do increase the dose, but in the avei-age 
man, there is no necessity for bim to increase it at all, and 
I do not tbiiik he does as a rule increase it. 

3394. Have you any experience of opium being taken in 
excess p — I have seen opium taken in excess, by what I 
call an opium drimhard. It is perhaps a misnomer, because 
in this country they eat more than drink. I use the term 
as a convenient one and as analogous to the alcoholic 
drunkard. 

3395. What did you observe in the case of opium-drunk- 
ards that vou have seen : what wa.s it you saw amiss with 
them ? — The regular opium drunkard is a most pitiable 
object,— lean, emaciated, diied-up and altogether i\ broken- 
down wretch, that is good for nothing. But I have seen, 
comparatively speaking, very few of these- 

3396. In those that you have seen was any organic 
disease at length produced P-I do not think disease was 
produced. I thini; in a very large number of cases the 
persons organically suffered from disease, and that was 
why they took to the opium. 

3397. Do you mean to suggest that some of those whom 
you c.\\\ opium-drunkards began to take it for disease and 
were diseased ? — Yes, I should say that the great majority 
of them were. 



3384. (Chairman) I belieVe that you are at 
Inspector-General of Civil Hospitals in Bengal p — I am. 

3385. And you have been in the service for nearly twenty- 
nine years ? — Yes. 

3386. Kindly tell us what service you saw p — I was for 
more than five years in Rajputana, where opium is very 
largely used ; four year's in Malwa, where it is extensively 
grown ; five years ii\ the Punjab, where it is also largely 
taken by the Sikhs ; and twelve years in a large practice in 
Calcutta. I have been six times on Frontitr expeditions, 
some of them involving great hardships, have bad consider- 
able experience of jail management, and during all my 
service have had large experience of opium-eaters. I have 
also visited China and Turkey when on furlough. 

3387. Will you tell us when your attention was first 
called to the use of opium p — My attention was fii'st 
drawn to the opium question in Lancashire during the 
cotton famine of the American war, when I was assist- 
ant to the House Surgeon of the Stockport Infirmary. 
Many applications were made at the Infirmary for supplies 
of opium, the applicaTits being then too poor to buy it. 
These were invariably refused and the patients warned 
against the danger of the practice. I was much struck by the 
fact that the use of the drug was much mcu'S common than I 
had any idea of, and that habitual consumers of ten or 
fifteen grains a day seemed none the worse for it, and would 
never have been suspected of using it. I remember only 
two cases — both opium-drunkards, one of whom took four 
ounces of laudanum daily — where the refusal caused any 
appreciable suffering; and several patients thanked us after- 
wards for enabling them to break with their habit. 

3388. Did you connect that unusual tolerance in England 
with the effect of the famine or partial famine, that then 
prevailed in Lancashire? — No; according to their own 
account, these were people who were in the habit of taking 
opium, and only came to us because they could not afiford to 
buy it themselves. Apparently tliey were ordinary opium- 
eaters before the famine. I do not think, as far as I 
remember, that it had anything to do with the furnine : 
I think it was simply because they could not afford to 
buy it. 

3389. (Mr. Pease.) In what form do they take the 
opium ? — In pills apparently, and sometimes in the shape 
of laudanum, 

3390. (Chairman.) Tellns yonr experience in Rajputana, 
Malwa, and the Punjab p— In Rajputana, Malwa, aud the 
Punjab my experience has been similar. During the great 
famine of 1868-69, crowds of half-starved paupers, most 
of them refugees from other States, were treated in the 
Bharatpur hospital and dispensaries. Bliaratput' is the 
most Eastern State in Rajputana, and the people suffered 
comparatively little from tile famine. Most of the people were 
refugees from other States. Largfe numbers were accus- 
tomed to opium ; and small supplies, never, I think, ex- 
ceeding two or three grains, were given to these without 
any bad effect, but to their great comfort and contentment. 
In all ordinary cases we had no idea the patient was an 
opium-eater till he asked for the drug. 1 know of no cri- 
terion by which the moderate opium-eater can be recog- 
nized, and while very many of them at once admit the 



3398. Have you seen any opium-drunkards pure and 
simple p — Yea, I think I have. I am perfectly certain that 
I must have: bat I think in the great majority of them 
the cause of the excess is the fact that they are suffering 
from some painful Or some wasting disease which calls for 
the relief which opium gi\es. No douht there are cases 
where men do it for the sensual enjoyment of the opium, 
but I think they are quite the minority. 

3399. Do you mean by that more than the enjoyment 
which many people have with a cigar? — Something similar. 
I think the feeling of bien Mre which opium gives is more 
marked than y(m ever get from a cigar. Morphia is 
not much used by the natives, but the feeling which 
morphia gives is much more marked than that given by 
opium. 

3400. May I take it from you, that even an opium- 
drunkard, pure and simple, does not, as far as you know, 
develop organic disease ? — I have never seen anj' case that I 
could distinctly put down to the use of opium. 

3401. In your experience, the vast majoiity of Indian 
opium-eaters take it moderately ? — I should say so, 
certainly. 

3402. What would you call the average dose of a 
moderate ofium-eaterp — I never like to give numerical ex- 
pression to anything. I have not investigated statistical! 



Sure/. -Col. B. 

Harret/, 

M.D., 

M.B.C.P., 

D.S.O. 

25 Nov. 1893. 



72 



INDIAN OPtUM COMMISSION 



Hdrvey 

M. B.', 

-*/. R. C. P., 

D.S.O. 



25 N 



ov. 1893, 



Surg. -Col. fl. When you ask a man about his opium tlie general way 
in which he puts it, is, ihat a pice worth lasts him two or 
three days, or that he uses two pice worth a day. It is 
generally expressed in terms of pice : he save that a pice 
worth lasts him for so and so. In my e.tperience while 
many men tiike a pice worth a day and a good many take 
■ two pioe worth a day, a very much larger numbe'- make a 
pice worth last them two, three or even lour days, I my- 
self got a pice worth from tli? bazar yesterday and it 
weighs 4 grains. 

dl03. We may take that as the visual thing? — I should 
say about 2 e;rains is a very common nllowaiice. A good 
many men take four and some take eight grains. When you 
get beyond eight grains I should think you are going to 
excess. 

3404. AVhat effect has it upon them in the case of moder- 
ate opium-eaters p — It supports and comforts them, e.spe- 
cially under exertion or exposure — many of them take it 
only or take a little more than their ordinary duse when 
called upon for extra work, — enables them to do a great deal 
on what seems to European ideas a very scanty and insuffi- 
cient diet, and I believe by its sustaining power acts as a 
prophylactic to a considerable extent against olalls, iheuma- 
tism, and malarial fevers, dysentery, and, I think I might 
add, diabetes. 

3405. Coming moi'e particularly to the Sikhs and Raj- 
puts with whom you have had some experience, what did 
you learn with regard to the effect of opium on these 
people P — I should say that, as races, they are the two finest 
races in India generally. Anybody knowing India on 
being asked which were the two finest races, would prcbaldy 
reply Sikhs and Eajputs, or Rajputs and Sikhs. Tbey are 
very martial people and altogether a very fine laoc. A 
verv considerable proportion of them take opintu habitually. 
As I say again, I cannot give you any iiurnerical expression 
of opiniini because I have never investigated the subject 
statistically. 

3106. I understand that opium is served out to certain 
regiments on the march p — I hardly tliink that is so. I 
think the Commissariat takes a supply in order that the men 
may be able to buy it. Bnt I have never heard of its actu- 
ally being served out. It may be so, if that is in evidi-nce : 
but I have never heard of it. I believe the Commissariat 
on frontier expeditions takes a supply of opium to give it 
to habitual opium-eaters on payment. 

3407. If it is served out, one would like to know how much 
is served ? — That I cannot answer. JVIy idea is that none is 
served out, but that the opium-eaters aie allowed to buy it. 
I do not think they get it for nothing. They are allowed 
to buy it from the Commi..isariat. The Commi^sariat takes 
out a supply in order that there may be no difficulty about 
giving it to the men. 

3408. Have you had any experience in China ? — I visited 
China on furlough in 1874, and I was there lor about three 
weeks. I was struck with the ph\sique of the common 
people, which was very good. I was very niuoli struck by 
two chairmen who carried me about in Hong-Kong. Thrnugh 
an interpreter I asked what they did, and tliey both said 
that they smoked opium. I had never seen two finer men, 
and they carried me up and down the streets of Hong-Kong 
with most perfect ease. 

3409. What is your impression about the men of busi- 
ness in Calcutta? — Many of the great business men of 
Calcutta, merchant princes, who for skill in business and 
boldness in speculation can hold their own with any, are 
Mavwaris (from Marwar in Rajputana), and I know from 
having had a lar^e practice among them tliat many of them, 
I believe I should not be wronjf in ^a\ing the majority of 
them, are habitual opiiim-ealers. Many others take it 
occasionally; and while I think that few men who have 
once made a habit of it give up the habit, as few men who 
smoke and drink moderately in other'countries give up their 
drink or tobacco, I believe they could do so if they wished 
without any great difficulty and without any danger what- 
ever. I have neverknown a nativeof India come to hospital 
to be cured of the habit, but I have known many give it 
up under advice, and others voluntarily, 

3410. Are you speaking now of cases of excess?— I am 
speaking now mainly of cases of excess. The cases where 
I have advised people to give it up have been cases of ex- 
cess ; but I may add that for many years I do not remem- 
ber having interfered with a patient's opium habit. Iff 
found that he took opium, I treated the case absolutely 
without reference to that fact, I did not interfere with it 
in any way- I treated him merely as if he were an ordinary 
person. The case is different with the opium-drunkard. 



He finds it very difficult to stop ; but the difficulty lies 
more, I think, in the initial weakness of will which led to 
the excess, than to the effects of the opium itself. The man 
has very little power of self-control ; and he cannot nerve 
himself to the amount of discomfort he has to undergo in 
order to get rid of the habit, 

3411. What is your experience with regard to prisoners 
in Indian Jails ?— The rule, I believe, in Indian Jails 
varies in different provinces. A certain latitude is allowed 
to the medical men. The rule in this province, for in- 
stance, as laid down in the Jail Code, is that all opium 
fouud upon a prisoner on admission is ccmfiscated, and he is 
not supposed to get any. The smuggling of opium is a 
jail offence. I believe, as a rule, the supply of opium is en- 
tirely cut off at once. People say that the prisoners obtain 
opium by bribery. But I do not think this can be largely 
true, though I would not say it never happens ; it is pro- 
bably quite exceptional. I think that our ]ail discipline is 
sufficiently good to make it very doubtful whether every 
opium-eater who comes into jail can easily supply himself 
with smuggled opium. 1 do not think it is likely ; 
no doubt it can be done occasionally. I have known a 
few instances of considerable temporary suffering accom* 
paniod by diairhoea; the stoppage has never led to dange- 
rous results, and the suffering has passed off in a few 
days, except in the case of those accustomed to take the 
drug in excess. They suffer consideiablj' longer, but 
they get over it in time. I have cured a considerable 
number of very bad oases of Europeans and Eurasians. I 
recollect one case, and one only, where the suffering ter- 
minated in death, but it would be hard to say that the 
deprivation of the .iccustomed opium bad any share in the 
fatal resvdt, for the man — a cooly on field service — had been 
under-clothed, over-worked, and exposed, without proper or 
sufficient food, to extreme cold aud was drenched to the 
skin every night by heavy dews. The deprivation of the 
opium may have been a factor in the ease, but I doubt it 
very much ; at all events it was not the only one. 

3412. The evidence given before us almost with one 
accord testifies to the fact that opium does not produce any 
known organic change, but it has been stated by several 
witnesses that the habitual use of opium makes those 
persons more liable to intercurrent disease. What is your 
view with regard to that P —I can understand that being 
the case with an opium-drunkard, although I have had no 
actual experience of it ; but with the moderate opium-eater I 
believe the exact contrary to bethetruth. Inthefirst .Miran- 
zai Expedition of 1891, where only native troops— many 
of them opium-eaters — were emplo\ ed, we encountered the 
most terrible weather, constant rain and snow, and some- 
times 20° of frost. The men were very hardworked, had to 
wade repeatedly through ice-cold mountain streams, and were 
frequently wet to the skin all day. One regiment alone 
had forty men frost-bitten on 2iid February — none of them 
were opium-eaters. Had the theory been correct, the con- 
ditions were such as to prove it. Yet the net results of the 
campaign gave a death-rate of only 7 '83 per 1,000 of 
strength per annum, about half the average death-rate of 
troops doing duty in cantonments; the admission-rate, 
573'9, being also about half the average. 

3413. What has been the effect upon the moral charac- 
ter? — So far as I know, the moderate use of opium has no 
effect upon the moral character, while excess does not lead 
to violent crime. The opiuui-drunkaid, when under the 
influence of the drug, only a.sks to be let alone. If poor, he 
may be driven to petiy tnefts to get the means of supply- 
ing himself with the drug. In my experience, even 
patients who come with the sincerest desire to bo cured of 
the habit invariably bring opium with them and thev lie 
in the most unblushing way about it, deehuing that they 
have not got it. The same thing applies to alcohol. 
Every medical man has known of and seen cases of drunk- 
ards who are prepared to swear that they have not tasted 
a drop for weeks although they are saturated and reeking 
with alcohol. 

3414. You probably agree that the excessive opium-eater, 
like the alcohol-drunkard, is more likely to be carried off by 
intercurrent disease ? — I think so certainly. I think in both 
these cases the cause is want of centred. It is neither the 
alcohol nor the opium that leads to excess : it is the want of 
will and self-control nf the patient. The worst result I ever 
knew from opium was the ease of a fine lonni; woman who 
deliberately prostituted herself during the Lancashi.e 
Cotton Famine in order to obtain meaus to buy opium. 

3415. What do you think generally of the place of opium 
amongst what we may call dicielic lestoralives or stimu- 
lants ? — I think it is OEe of the most harmless and most 



MINUTES OP EVIDENCE. 



73 



useful. I think it is one of the greatest blessings that men 
can have. I think it was Dr. Gregory who called it Optime 
Dei rfoMMOT— God's best gift. 

3416. Have you any further information to give to the 
Commission ?— I believe, although I have no evidence to 
offer upon the point, that if men accustomed to opium were 
to be effectively denied it, the possibility of which I doubt, 
since small quantities can be so easily smuggled, they would 
take to other stimulants ; and if these happened to be ganja 
or alcohol, " the last state of those men would be [very 
much] worse than the first." As to the ease with which 
opium can be smuggled, I may say that taking 2 grains to 
be the amount a man eats in the day, a year's supply will go 
into a packet 2x|xf inches. I hold in my hand a packet 
containing a year's supply of what I call the average opium- 
eater. It contains two years' supply for many ; it contains 
half a year's supply for the man who takes a pice worth a 
day. Any native in this country could so conceal this 
packet in his loin-cloth or in his .puggree that you would 
have to strip him naked in order to find it. It seems to 
Jne as a matter of practical administration absolutely impos- 
sible to subject people to this sort of espionage, and I do 
not believe that people would stand it. 

3417. I presume that in your responsible position and 
throughout your career you have mixed very largely with 
medical men in the Indian Service ?— I have. I have mixed 
largely with medical men not only in the Indian Service, but 
in the Medical Staff, and with large numbers of native 
medical practitioners, university graduates of all sorts, and 
vernacular school graduates. 

3418. Do you think that the views you have expressed 
are held by those men generally P — I should say that they 
were held by all vfith the exception of an infinitesimal 
minority, 

3419. That is to say by medical men who had practical 
experience in India ? — Yes, practical experience in India. 
I should say we are practically at one. I know one or two 
who will not endorse these views, but I think the profes- 
sion as a whole certainly would. 

3420. I suppose yon have no explanation of the fact of 
why the natives of India should lake to the use of opium 
and tolerate it in a different way from our own countrymen 
at home p— I think it is a race question. Looking all 
round the world we find that each nation has its own 
habits ; at the same time we find that all mankind seems 
to want a stimularit of some sort. The Northern nations of 
Europe resort largely to spirituous stimulants. Going down 
to the south of Europe you come to wine-spirits being much 
less used. Northern nations seem to be able to do with 
a quantity of spirits which if administered to people in 
the tropics, as experience has proved over and over again, 
kills them off at once. Spirits are absolutely unsuited to 
a hot climate. My idea is that opium is the stimulant 
which the inhabitants of this country have found by 
experience to be the best suited to them. Although like 
everything else it is liable to abuse, the moderate way in 
which the great majority take it not only does them no 
harm but does them a great deal of good. It adds to 
their comfort and satisfies for them the desire which is 
satisfied by wine iu France and by spirits in Scandanavia 
and in Scotland. 

3421. Have you any further statement you would like 
to make p — There is one practical point which I should 
like to bring before your notice. It has been brought up 
iu the evidence of several preceding witnesses. Everybody 
seems to admit that opium must be allowed for medicinal 
purposes ; with that reservation it seems to me that it is 
absolutely impossible to prohibit the use of opium in 
Bengal. The last Report of the Medical Institutions of 
Bengal, which I only got two days ago, shows that as a 
matter of fact, in a population of over 70 millions, only 
2i per cent, of the population get any benefit from the 
Government Medical Institutions. There are no doubt a 
certain number of private medical practitioners spread 
about the country, but the great bulk of the people 
practically have no medical advice to go to, unless 
they go to those baids and hakims who have no real 
qualifications, who are not registered, but who, as I under- 
stand, must be allowed to give certificates that such and 
such people are to be allowed opium. As far as I see, 
there is nothing to prevent any man being his own hakim 
and prescribing opium for himself ; at any rate a number 
of baids and hakims scattered about the place will have 
the power of ordering opium, and from what I know of 
native character, I think that anybody who wishes to get 
opium would only go and give four annas to get a certi- 
ficate. You transfer the opium revenue into the hands 
of the baids and hakims : you would not decrease the 
consumption of opium iu the least, as far as I can see ; but 



25 Nov. 189S. 



you would seriously embarrass the Government. There Surg.-Col. R. 
is a statement in tliis Report, from which it appears that Harvet/.M.D., 
allowing each dispensary to deal with a radius of 5 miles, M., B. C. P., 
the 310 dispensaries of Bengal cover less than one-fifteenth D. S. O 
the total area of the province ; so that less than one- , 
fifteenth can come under proper rtedical arrangements, 
which could be safeguarded ; and you must throw it open 
practically to any man who calls himself a baid or 
hakim. 

3422. {Lord Brassey.) Have you any personal ex- 
perience of the use of opium P— Yes, I have. I have 
myself been an opium-eater iu a very small way. I trust 
that I shall not be considered to be one now ; not that I 
have reformed. I am perfectly prepared to begin again if 
circumstances required it. .My first experience of its use 
was during a professional examination when suffering from 
a severe influenza cold. Thirty drops of laudanum taken 
to procure sleep had the exact contrary effect, but removed 
the stupidity due to the cold and enabled me to go lucidly 
over the subject of next day's examination. I seemed to 
have the books all before me ; everything came clear before 
me. In 1871-72, when in charge of the advanced base 
hospital in the Lushai Expedition, I had nearly two thousaud 
sick and wounded through my hands in less than three 
months, and there were sometimes four hundred in hospital at 
once. During most of the time I had only one hospital assis- 
tant to help me, and neither nurses, orderlies, nor clerks. I 
had begun the campaign with a severe attack of fever which 
kept recurring every few days, and I never was so nearly 
overdone in my lite. I believe I must have broken down 
but for opium, of which I used to take a grain about 6 a.m. 
when beginning work for the day, whenever I knew the 
work Was unusually heavy. I may have taken it thirty or 
forty times. I never exceeded the grain, never hankered 
for more, and had no difficulty in stopping it. It sustained 
and comforted me and kept my head clear. I have taken 
it perhaps ten times since, always under circumstances of 
great fatigue or exposure, and always with the same result. 

3423. {Mr. Pease.) You mention the great exertions 
whicli men were able to put forth under the influence of 
opium. You would consider I suppose that that was the result 
of its being a stimulant and not on account of its nour- 
ishing qualities P— On account of its stimulating properties. 
It also diminishes waste of tissue. That is the physiologi- 
cal explanation of it. By diminishing tissue-waste it 
enables a man to do more. 

3424. Is there not a corresponding depression after the 
effects of the opium has passed off P — I do not think there 
is, unless ^ou take large quantities of it. 

3425. Did you find that in your experience at all P — 
No, I found no reaction or depression whatever. 

3426. Do you find that persons who are in the h;ibit of 
taking opium are equally susceptihle to other drugs p— 
I think so. I do not think I have noticed any difference. 

3427. You spoke of persons who had become opium sots 
as persons of we>ik will : do you not think that the taking 
of opium considerably affected or weakened the powers of 
the will p— That is a question I could not give a definite 
answer to. It seems to be more, both in the case of alcohol 
and opium, a weakness of the will. I know it is generally 
said to be the effect of alcohol or opium, but I do not see 
that there is any evidence of that. 

3428. You have made a well-known quotation from Dr. 
Gregory : was he not at that tioae alluding to opium as a 
medicine and not as an indulgence ? — No doubt. But in many 
of these cases it is used medicinally. I think in a very large 
number of cases it is begun tor the relief of pain and for 
medical reasons, and then people have felt such a comfort 
from it, that they go on with it. 

3429. Are you in favour of any reduction in the present 
facilities in obtaining opium ? — 1 do not think that it is at 
all necessary. 

3430. {Mr. Wilson.) You have referred to a person in 
Lancashire who was in the habit of taking 4 ounces of 
laudanum daily P — Yes ; a young woman. It was the same 
young woman who afterwards prostituted herself because she 
could not get it. 

3431. Did this person taking 4 ounces of laudanum^ daily 
come to your infirmary to ask for charitable relief ? — 
She came to ask for opium because she had no means of 
paying for it. 

3432. Four ounces of laudanum would cost a good deal 
of money p— Yes, as far as I remember, her husband was a 
well-to-do operative, probably an overseer, or some- 
thing like that ; at all events she had been able to get 
opium up to the time of the cotton famine, They were 
then all turned out of work, supplies of money dried up, and 
eventually she came to us, but we refused to give the opmm 
to her. 



74 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION t 



Sur.'Col. R. 3433. You refer to the Miranzal Expedition, whore there 
.Har»ey,Jf.i)., were only Native troopa : you say that many of them were 
M.R.C.P., opium-eaters P— Yes. 

•0. 34S4. I suppose you are not able to give us any kind of 

proportion p — No, I cannot, I have never made a numerical 

25 Nov. 18 93. enquiry. It is well known, however, that Sikh sepoys do take 
^"^^ opium very considerably, although a great many will 
deny it ; more of them take it than admit that they 
take it. But a considerable number will admit that they 
take it. I ascertained afterwards that none of those particu- 
lar 40 men who were frost bitten were opium-eaters. They 
may have been, hut they said they were not. 

3435. Opium-eaters and non-opium-eaters alike stood this 
severe weather so well that your death-rate was only 
about half the average death-rates of troops doing duty in 
cantonments ? — Yes, opium-eaters and non-opium-eaters 
equally stood it. 

3436. You do not suggest that the non-opium-eaters 
died faster ? — No, this is with reference to a statement 
that under certain had conditions the opium-eater is liable 
to intercurrent disease. It is only to meet that. The 
real causes of the diminished death-rate were to be 
found in the admirable arrangements made by Government 
for the comfort and feeding of the troops, aud for their 
shelter. 

3437. You say that opium sharpens the mental faculties, 
brightens the wits, and improves the logical powers p — I 
think so. 

3438. May I ask you why you do not take it regularly ; 
do not you want to have sharp faculties and bright wits ? — 
I hope they are sharp enough. Seriously speaking, I think 
it does sharpen the mental faculties under circumstances of 
exertion. It was under those circumstances that I have 
taken it in the past, and I would always take it again in 
the future if it were necessary. 

3439. That is the point I was going to ask you about, — 
whether you regard its value mainly as a special agent un- 
der peculiar circumstances of stress, or whether you mean 
that it has that habitual tendenc}' throughout life ? — I do 
not thiuk I am in a position to answer that question. I said 
that when I was taking it it kept my head clear. It has done 
that for me several times. It made me as I said, when I 
had the desperate cold and was stupid and thought that I 
must fail in my examination, go right over the whole sub- 
ject. It cleared my brain in the most wonderful way. You 
cannot speak of the intellectual faculties of other people, 
because you would not know what the ordinary effects of it 
upon them are, or what their original condition was. 

3440. As a matter of fact you do not recommend it as a 
practice to persons who wish to have sharp faculties aud 
bright wits ? — I would not go as far as that. 

3441. Have you ever recommended anybody to take it 
regularly ? — I have. 

3442. To take it regularly ?— Yes. 

3443. Have you recommended it to many persons P — 
Not to very many, but I have recommended it to many dia- 
betic patients. 

3444. I am not talking about disease at all, I mean for 
these valuable results ? — No, I have certainly not for that 
purpose. 

3445. With reference to your own experience which you 
gave us, I take it that when you were suffering from this 
severe influenza cold, your taking it was purely medicinal p 
— It was on that occasion. That was the first thing which 
showed me the value of it, — as a supporting thing, and as 
clearing the intellect. That was before I had any experience 
of it in other people. That was when I was a student. 

S446. That was for a special purpose ? — Yes. 

3447. For a temporary purpose P — For a temporary medi- 
cal purpose. Afterwards 1 took it as a stimulant. 

3448. Speaking generally, will you tell us whether the 
evidence that you have given relates specially to eating or 
drinking or smoking P — I have practically no experieuce of 
emoking with the exception of my reference to the two 
Chinamen who carried me about in Hong-Kong. They were 
smokers. The majority of the people, however, in this 
country, eat the opium. They take a little pill,— a little 
goli. They carry it in their pnggree or loia-oloth and 
pinch off a little bit. In Bajputana, especially on official 
occasions, it is generally made into a solution and drunk, but 
the balk of the people in this country eat it. I have no 
experience of what they do on the Bombay side. In the 
large cities of India, especially where there are Chinamen, 
they have learned the habit of smoking it ; but I practically 
have no expeiience of opium-smoking. 



3449. We may take it broadly that the evidence yoll 
have given relates to eating F — Eating or drinking, which 
I think is practically the same. 

3450. Yon tell us that you were five years in Rajputana ? — 
We had some little difficulty the other day in ascertaining 
exactly what Eaj puts are. Do you know what propoi-tioa 
of the population of Rajputana are called Eajputs ?— I think 
you may practically say the whole popula,tion. They all 
take opium. I do not think there is much difference. They 
are not all pure Eajputs : there are various mixed races in 
the country. As far as my knowledge goes, they all take 
opium,— much in the same proportion ; but I have never 
made any statistical enquiries, and I could not reduce the 
question to a numerical statement. 

3451. Inconsequence of some degree of doubt about it 
here the other day, I referred to Hunter's " Gazetteer." 
There 1 found that the population of Rajputana was given 
at 10 millions odd, and the number of the Eajput class or 
caste, half a million, 'that is five percent. It is important 
to know whether the reference to Eajputs refers to that five 
per cent, of the population, or whether you speak of the 
population of the country P — I am speaking of the whole 
population of ihe country : my remark refers to them. 

3452. I do not know whether you know anything of the 
views of a medical missionary, Dr. Huntlj, who has lived 
a good many years in EajputanaP — I do not recall the 
name. 

3453. In a letter addressed by him to the Lancet, he 
says among other things : " The natives of Rajputana are 
well aware that drinking milk with opium helps to ward off 
some of the ill-effects of the drug. On the other hand, the 
majority of opium-eaters very soon show the harmful effects 
on the system, and they are able to be recognised at a 
glance by the doctor who gives time and attention to 
this." Do you agree with that ? — I agree with it in the 
case of people taking: it to excess, hut not in the case of a 
moderate opium-smoker. People do take milk in order to 
obviate a tendency to constipation which is sometimes 
caused ; but I think the average moderate opium-eater is 
absolutely unrecognisable. 

3454. Further on he says : " In seven years of constant 
intercourse with the natives I have never met a native who 
considered the drug harmless." That is not your ex- 
perience p — No, certainly not. 

3455. " In a careful enquiry into 100 cases of opium- 
eaters I found from their own lips that neaily forty per 
cent, had begun the habit to stimulate the sexual appetite, 
and the end of many of these was impotence. This fact 
can be learned from the native songs." — I believe that a 
certain number of people do take it under the deluded 
idea that it is an aphrodisiac. I do not think that it is a 
real aphrodisiac. The natives are extremely fond of resort- 
ing to aphrodisiacs; and whenever a new one is started 
there is a tremendous run upon it. If you ask any chemist 
in Calcutta, he will tell you that. Whether they begin it 
for that purpose or not I do not know ; probably they do. 
I do not think I have ever made any enquiries as to that 
particular point. 

3456. I was shewn a book the other day — Russell on 
Malaria and Injuries of the Spleen. Is that book any 
authority P — I glanced throagh the book when it was pub- 
lished. That was a good many years ago. I do not think 
it had any very large circulation. I have no doubt froip 
what 1 know of Ur. Russell that it ought to be a book of 
authority. I do not know what his statements are, so I 
cannot say whether I agree with them or not. Dr. Russell's 
opiuion, however, ought to be valued. 

3457. You made use of an expression that yon thought 
this was very much a race question. Can you apply suoh a 
term to India p— Perhaps I ought to have said a climatic 
question, rather than a race question. Climatic " question 
would be a better term. The races vary enormously. 
There is a very large number of entirely different races! 
I ought to have said a climatic question rather than a race 
question. It was clear from the illustration I gave that I 
meant a climatic question. 

3458. (Mr. Haridas Veharidas.) Do you use alcohol P 
—Yes, I use alcohol, but in strict moderation. 

3459. You took opium you say 30 or 40 times P Tes, 

30 or 40 times. Since that expedition I have taken it 
perhaps 10 or 12 times. 

3460. Were you also in the habit of taking alcohol on all 
occasions p— No, I was not. I could not get any. That was 
the reason. I should have taken it if I could have got it. 

3461. Then you gave up the opium P— Yea, I gave it up 
afterwards. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



75 



3462, Were you obliged to take sometliing after you gave 
up the dose of opium ? — 1 took wine as booh as I could 
get it. 'Ihere was no wine lliere. 

3463. Had you to take more alcohol afterwards ? — No. 
8464. (Mr. Panshawe.) Did I understand you to say 

that it had come within your experience that opium was 
largely used as an aphrodisiac by the natives P — No, I 
did not say largely. It is used no doubt. I have no per- 
sonal experience, but I have no doubt they use it. They 
use anything that they hear is an aphrodisiac. 

3465. I suppose you would not be able to tell us the sort 
of doses they take ? — No, I cannot give you any informa- 
tion upon that point. 

3466. Can you give us any information as to the age, 
speaking generally, at which the classes who have the 
opium-eating habit, the Kajputs and Sikhs and others, 
\rould begin the habit P — I have often been in Eajputana 
and I think the habit is begun when they are children and 
carried on sometimes throughout boyhood. Sometimes it 
is given up. It is frequently given by mothers when they 
go into the fields in order to quiet their children. Then 1 
think there is a period when it is not taken, I have seen 
children of five or six yearsof age who tookopium regu- 
larly. 



3467. That would be in Rajputana and in the Punjab P— Surff.-Col, S. 
Yes. Sarvey,M.D., 

M.E.O.P., 

3468. Then would they reour to it when they were D.S.O, 
grown up men P — They generally do. 

25 Nov. 1893. 

3469. And give it up in the interval P — Apparently. ■ 

3470. I want to make that point about the Eajputs 
quite clear. You say in speaking of the Rajputs that they 
are one of the finest and most martial racas in India ?— 
Yes. 

3471. In using that expression, you are referring to the 
Rajputs proper P — I am referring practically to the whole 
population of Rnjputana — whether they are pure Rajputs 
or not — as being one of the finest races in India. There 
are a number of offshoots, — the Jats and Dogras, and peo- 
ple who are related to the Eajputs although not pure Raj- 
puts. They are splendid men, physically, and make very 
good soldiers. The same may be said of the common 
people, who arc of very mixed blood. They are as fine and 
plucky men as you could wish to see. 

3472. The opium habit is equally common among classes 
other than Rajputs P — Yes, I think so. 



The witness withdrew. 



SuEGEON-LiEUTENANT-CoioNEL A. Ceombie, M.D., called in and examined. 



3473. (Chairman.) I think you are Superintendent of 
the Presidency General Hospital P— Yes. 

3474. And you have been a long time in the Indian 
Medical Service P~ Yes. 

3475. And you have also had a large private practice 
£or many years ? — Yes. 

3476. Tell us what means you have had of becoming ac- 

Suainted with the effects of the opium habit in India P— 
have been a Hospital Physician and Surgeon during the 
whole of my service in India. I have served in the Medical 
College Hospital in Calcutta, in Rangoon, in Dacca, and again 
in Calcutta. These are the places where I have served. 

I was for the longest period Civil Surgeon in Dacca, namely, 

II years ; but for only 7 years of that period did I actually 
reside in Dacca. Besides hospital experience, I have also 
been medical officer of two very large jails._ I have repeated- 
ly had executive charge of one of these jails, and I have 
also been in charge of a lunatic asylum at Dacca for 7 years, 
which held 220 lunatics. I have also had considerable expe- 
rience of lunacy throughout the whole province of Bengal, in 
consequence of being consulted by the Government of Bengal 
in all matters relatine to lunatics. 

3477. I understand you have paid rather special atten- 
tion to this question ?— Yes, and especially of late years. 

3478. Kindly give us your impression as to the consump. 
tion of opium in the Lower Provinces.— I have made 
a number of calculations with regard to the consumption of 
alcohol and opium in India, especially in Bengal ; and I 
should like to give the data for those calculations. I wish to 
call the attention of the Commission to a collection of papers 
relating to the consumption of opium in India published 
in the Gazette of India on the 9th January 1892. There is 
a great deal of information in this book ; but the parti- 
cular page to which I wish to refer is page 99, in which the 
total consumption of opium in British India is stated to be 
Bufficient to furnish a moderate daily dole of i tola (that is 
to say ^th part of an ounce, or 45 grains), to about 400,000 
people (that is to say, 2 persons in every thousand of the 
total population) ; that comes to 22^ grains per thousand oi 
population, or 8^ grains per head of tie population for the 
whole of India, men, women, and children, per annum. Ihe 
cost o! this would be 4 pies per annum : that is, a little more 
than a farthing. In contrast with this I would mention that 
the cost of drink in England is £3-15-0 per head of the po- 
pulation per annum. With regard to the proportion ot 
opium to each opium-eater in that amount, that would depend 
upon the estimate formed ; by taking it very low, at 5 per 
cent., it would give about 400 grains per annum to each 
opium-eater, or rather more than 1 grain a day. 

3479. Pive per cent, of the total population P— Yes. 

3480. That would make about 20 per cent, of the adult 
population P— Yes, about 20 per cent, of the adult male 
population. In Bengal, that is to say, in the Lower Pro- 
vinces under the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, 1,942 
maunds of opium are supplied for consumption. That 
amounts to 15i grains per head of the population, or, accord- 
ing to the same calculation, iiOO grains per annum tor each 
consumer, which is rather below 1 grain a day for each 
cpium-eSter. I believe the amount varies in different parts 



of Lower Bengal. A gentleman supplied me with some in- Surg.-Lt,- 
formation the other day,— Bijoy Matab Mukerji, one of our Col. A. 
Sub-divisional Officers who has served in the Sub-division of Crombie., 
Supor in Bhagulpore. There the amount obtained from the M. D. 

Treasury was 3 maunds for a population of 600,000, which ' 

amounts to 2 J grains per annum per head of the population 
or 50 grains to each consumer per annum. He mentioned, 
in explanation of the small quantity of opium used in that 
sub-division, that a large quantity of alcohol was consumed 
by that population, and he considered that the two intoxi- 
cants are used in inverse proportion. In the Sub-divi- 
sion of Ranagh^t (not very far from Calcutta), which is a 
non-alcohol district, alcohol being used in very small quan- 
tities, the consumption was from 12 to 15 maunds in 
different years, giving from 25 to 31 grains per head of the 
population, or about 600 grains per annum to each consumer. 
That amounts to nearly 2 grains a day to each consumer. 
With regard to that, there are two or three explanations. 
The amount is, 1 believe, very much smaller than is actually 
taken by the average consumer ; and it may be that only a 
portion of those consumers use it daily, leaving a larger 
quantity for the others; or the estimated percentage of 
opium-eaters is too high ; it may he that there is a con- 
siderable quantity of illicit opium in constant use. My evi- 
dence with regaxd to the effect of opium on the people of 
India, as seen by a man practising with every opportunity 
of observing the evil effects, is almost absolutely negative. 

3481. But you have recognised that cases of excess do 
occur ? — I have of course frequently met with individuals 
who take opium in excess. I have not always noticed that 
the excessive quantity produced any deleterious effects. In 
one or two, perhaps three, instances, I have seen these dele- 
terious effects in the course of my 20 years' experience. 

3482. Deleterious effects wliioh you traced directly to 
opium P — Yes, which I traced directly to opium. 

3483. Opium uncomplicated with any disease or pover- 
ty P-^With any existing disease. 

3484. Does your memory carry you sufficiently back to 
remember what were the conditions of a man who took 
opium to excess, without any disease and without any pover- 
ty P — It is rather difficult to find a case exactly fulfilling 
these conditions. The first case which was brought promi- 
nently to my notice was that of a Chinaman, a prisoner in the 
Rangoon Jail, who died in the hospital from chronic diar- 
rhoea. He was a very large consumer of opium, and the con- 
clusion I came to at the time, either rightly or wrongly, was 
that both the diarrhoea and death were due to opium. Chronic 
diarrhoea and dysentery are of course very common to 
India, and it may have been that this was a case of chionio 
diarrhoea due to other causes. But the impression made 
upon my mind at the time was that death was due to 
opium, and I have always considered it so. 

3485. In your experience, that is the only fatal case 
that occurred P — That is the only fatal case that I kuow. 

3486. You have had a good deal of experience from 
the fact that you have been in charge of hospitals and 
asylums, can you tell us if the opium habit has been a 
cause of lunacj' or a cause of crime P — In that Supplement to 
the Indian Medical Gazette, which I believe has been 
sent to each member of the Commission (I now formally 

Kg 



ii^biAN onvtS. COMMISSION : 



Sutg.-Li.- 

Col, A. 

Cromhie, 

M.D. 

25 Nov. 1S93. 



present it to each member of tlie Commission) I have given 
my experience with regnrd to lunacy. The figures on 
which my opinion is partly based, will he found at page 
27 of tliiit Supplement. 'I'here the statistics of the Ben- 
gal asylums are given for ten years. The number of ad- 
missions to these asylums during those ten years was 2,202. 
Of that number, 641 were ganja-smokers, or consumers of 
ganja in some form ; 117 were drinkers of alcohol, and 
only 8 were opium-eaters. 

3487. Would you put it quite in that way. The column 
I see is headed "Alleged cause "P — Yes. 

3488. So that a good many more than these 8 might 
have been opiu'T:\-smokers or eaters ? — No, I think not. In 
each of these cases in which the history of ganja or spirits 
or opium is given, that is put down as tlie cause. There may 
be other taiises ; but in the asylum recoids I think it is 
invariably put down as the cause. These may be regarded 
as statistii'S of ganja, spirits, and opium-eaters in asy- 
lums. With regard to ganja, there is no question in my 
own mind that in a very lai-ge proportion of the cases in 
which it is put down as " alleged cause," it is the cause. 
With regard to spirits, I believe it is also the same in the 
asylums in England, where from 20 to 25 per cent, of the 
lunatic's have become insane in consequence of drink. But 
with regard to the opium-eaters I am of opinion that the 
opium is never the cause of insanitj'. As I'egards the num- 
ber of opium-eater.s shewn here, it merely means that these 
were Innntics who had been accustomed to take opium. I 
have also collected statistics from Bombay and Itangoon, 
as well as Madras, but they are incomplete, as I was 
unable to ohiain the figures. I can only give the figures 
for Bombay for 3 years, and fur the Eangoon asylum for 
6 3'ears. In Burniah there are also very few opium-eaters, 
indeed, admitted as lunatics ; whereas the number of 
spirit-drinker* is very con.-iderahly increased in the town of 
Bombay, that is to say, in the Colaba asylum. There is a 
considerably larger proportion of spiiit-drinUers admitted 
there than in the other asylums. In 1888 there were 25, in 
1889 and 1890, 13 ; against 1 opium-eater iu two of 
those years, and 3 in another year. 

3489. You have given an account of your opinion and 
the impressions produced upon your mind by the study of 
this question ? — Yes. 

3490. AYill you state the reasons why you think the evils 
of opinin-eating in India are almost of a niici'oscopic charac- 
ter p^ln the first place because it is specially a habit of ad- 
vanced life. Alcoliol and ganja are the intoxicants chiefly 
used below the age of 30 or 35. 

3491. What would you consider the beginning of ad- 
vanced life ? — Speaking of the natives of India, 40 may 
be considered as advanced life. 

3492. Do you think that the people of India have a con- 
stitutional tolerance for tlie drug p — I have some reason for 
believing that there is such a tolerance, and I believe that 
a great deal of the agitation on opium is due to that 
difference, — that the etiect of opium, specially of morphia, 
is very much greater in European countries, and especial- 
ly among people who use alcohol, than it is in India. It 
is also peifectly certain that all animals are not equally 
affected by opium. I have during the past week made 
some experiments upon ducks and fowls, and I have given 
them enormous quantities. 'I'o a duck weighing 2^Tbs, I 
have given at one time 30 grains of opium and into another 
duck of about the same weight, I have injected 3 grains of 
morphia. That would mean to a man of 10 stone, 15 times 
140 grains, at one dose or 1| grains of morphia to every 
pound of his body weight. That would mean IJ times 140, 
or 210 grains for one injection. Be.i ond giving rise to 
a certain amount of nausea iu all the animals, to some 
slight drowsiness lasting about an hour in the case of the 
ducks and to a little unsteadiness of gait, little or no effect 
was produced upon these animals. During the first few days 
in which the experiment was continued, they were quite 
happy, inquisitive as ducks always are, and ate their food as 
usual. The fowls after two or three days of the treatment ate 
very little and were evidently affected in some way by these 
enormous doses of morphia and opium. I made these expe- 
riments in order to satisfy myself that the statements made 
in books with regard to that, were true. I am able to con- 
firm those statements. There are evidences of various kinds 
that the natives of India have certain peguliarities in their 
constitution, and the first one of these, I would like to men- 
tion, is with regard to the body temperature. In 1872-73-74 
I made some 1,600 observations of the normal temperature 
of the human body of the natives as well as of Europeans in 
India, and they have been printed in this book which I 
shall be glad to present for the inspection of the Commis- 
sioners. I have here drawn the differences diagramatically. 



The three lower figures are the average tempefaturas of 
Europeans in England as observed by Ogle, Casey, Allbutt 
and Kattray. 

3493. You say there is a difference in the bodily tem- 
perature ; your argument would be, I suppose, that there 
may he a diHereuce of tolerance P— That is my idea. 

3494. {Mr. Pease.) Can you give the average temper- 
ature P— It depends very much upon the time of day. The 
mean daily temperature according to Ogle was 97-9 of 
Europeans living in England ; 98-2 according to Allbutt and 
98-07 according to Casey : giving an average of 98-08 from 
the three observers, from the observations which I made 
here in India of Europeans, I found the average daily tem- 
perature to be 98'5. 

3495. What is the average temperature of the native 
population in India P-Nearly half a degree higher. That 
makes the temperature nearly a degree higher than that of 
Europeans living in England. 

3496. Have you any special information, direct evidence, 
of the diff'erence of tolerance for opium between a European 
and a native of India p— It has to be taken into account 
that we are using weaker opiuTn, but there is no doubt that it 
is the experience of us all, that we can give larger doses of 
opium here than in England. For instance, in cases of acute 
diarrhaja, 1 never give lets than one drachm of laudanum, 
which is probably three times as much as would be given 
by an English practitioner in Engknd in an ordinary case 
of that kind. 

3497. Would your preparation he made from Smyrna 
opium or native opium P — The laudanum I prescribe is most- 
ly obtained from England— Turkey opium. 

3498. That would contain a full amount of morphia ?— 
Yes. 

3499. You give a, drachm dose P— Yes, a drachm dose 
freely without hesitation. 

3500. To adults P— Yes, to adults ; but I think the differ- 
ence in constitution is to be chieHy noticed with regard to 
chiLlren. Our authorities, especially Lander Urunton, say 
that opium should not be given at all to English children, 
under 5 years of age, only with great precautions. But 
here, iu India, we do it hardly with any precaution. We 
give opium to children even of a year old in fair doses. 

3501. (Mr. Mowbray.) English children P— We give it 
also to English children ; but I am now referring chiefly to 
native children. We also give it here to English children 
in larger doses than they do iu England. 

3502. {Chairman.) Do you observe the distincthm of dos- 
es in the two cases ?— Yes. I give it more freely to native 
than to European children. 1 know that native mothers 
constantly give opium to their babies when they are a day 
or two old ; and I believe the habit is continued to the age 
of four, when it is most frequently given up. Most of our 
ayahs, who are entrusted with the care of European children, 
are up-counti-y women, who are accustomed to deal with 
their osvn children in this way, and when they find a peev- 
isli, fretful English child they give it the same dose of 
opium they would give to their own child, and the English 
child dies. I think Bishop Thoburn mentioned a case in 
his own experience the other day. We have all had expe- 
rience of that kind. 

3503. Have such examples fallen under your own notice P 
— Yes, where a child has died from opium given to it by an 
ayah. I have never treated a native child for opium 
poisoning in the course of my 20 years' service. No case 
has ever been brought to any hospital with which I have 
been connected. 

3504. Do you consider tolerance with regard to opium in 
India is altogether a matter of race or a mixed product o£ 
several causes p — I think it is the product of all the influ- 
ences which are brought to bear upon the natives in the 
course of ages, they are constantly living in a hot climate, 
have a constant vegetable diet and abstinence from alcohol. 
I think these are the chief conditions which have brought 
about this result. 

3505. Do you include the malarial constitution P — I can- 
not go into that point as giving tolerance. I am not aware 
of that. 

3506. Of course you are aware that certain diseases like 
diabetes do give a tolerance? — Yes. 

3507. I thought perhaps you might have observed whe- 
ther malaria didP — I have not observed it, except that most 
of the people I have treated have had more or less malaria 
taint in their systems. 

3508. I believe you distinguish between the eSeots of 
the habit and those of the ailments for whigh it is taken,. 



Minutes of evidence. 



f1 



tlial is a mattei- of course P—TViat goes without sayins I 
tliink. Aniither point, thougli there are differenofs of opinion 
with regard to this, is, ihiit evidence of diffeiences ui cnn- 
Stitntion is to be found in the immunitv of the natives of 
India from typhoid fcver. I)r. Hai vey tells me. for insianoe, 
that he has seen typhoid fever in natives, the diagnosis 
being confirmed by post-mortem exnminations. B»t if I am 
not wrong Dr. Harvey refers to a loner time ago. I thinlc it 
must he admitted by all that tvphcdd fever in natives is 
extremely rare. I ascertained the other day that a native 
student may go through the whole of his curriculum of 5 
years without ever seeing a case of typhoid fever. IJr. Gib- 
bons, who was pathologist in the Medical College Hospital for 
seven or eight years, has never seen evidences of typhoid 
fever in a native on the/ Oii-morfem table. It is common 
enough in the General Hospitnl, which is a European Hos- 
pital. I think til ere they aie from ten to twenty cases 
every year. I have never myself treated a native of India 
for typlioid fever. 

3509. (Lord Brassey.) Have you had the same experi- 
ence with regard to scarlet fever ? — Yes, but 1 do not bring 
that forward so much, because Europeans in India are 
practically exempt from scarlet fever. I have seen an un- 
questionable case of scarlet fever in one European in India. 

3510. (Chairman.) Have you anything to tell us about 
the comparative effects of eating and smoking opium p — I 
have made a special study of this particular point. I believe 
that the evils of smoking opium are very considerably 
greater than anything that can be attributed to eating 
opium. But I think that is due chiefly to the conditions 
under which the opium is smoked. Opium is eaten at 
home ; a man swallows his pills, and at once proieeds to his 
usual avocations : it is smoked in clubs and, until recently, 
in opium dens — smoking in company. It is a sooiiil vice 
like alciihol. Feople go to these places fur the sake of com- 
pany to enjoy each other's society, and they smoke opium 
together. The consequence is, that opium-smoking is a vice 
of the younger people and of the low characters and those 
of vicious habits generally. I believe that madak-smoking 
is more deleterious to the constitution than chandu-smok- 
ing. I have repeatedly visited several of the madak shops 
as well as chandu shops. 'I'hiee or four years ago I came 
to the conclusion, and I still believe, that madak-smoking 
does lead to greater ill-health than chandu-smoking. Chan- 
du is the Chinese way of smoking, madak is the Bengali 
mode of smoking. 

3511. Yon have visited these opium dens more than once 
I think? — 1 should think I have paid six or eight visits to 
them at different times. 

3512. What has been your impression of their effect 
upon the public morals ?— On the public morals absolutely 
none, hut I believe there is no doubt that it does deterior- 
ate the morals of those who indulge in the habit, as indicated 
above. It has no particular effect on the public morals. 
It gives rise to no violent crime, no infringements of public 
decency. You might live within a short distance of an 
opium den and not know that it is there. I confess that I 
lived in Dacca for seven years, where there was an opium- 
smoking den and I did not know of its existence. 

3513. Opium-smoking in India — madak — seems to be a 
habit of the lower strata of society P— Yes, it is decidedly a 
habit of the lower classes. I do not know of any well-to-do 
or respectable men who smoke opium. I know many res- 
pectable men who eat opium constantly, but I do not know 
a single well-to-do man who smokes opium. 

3514. You are speaking of Hindus, not Chinamen ? — 
lam speaking of Hindus and Mahomedans — the inhabitants 
of Bengal. 

3515. You have had no experience of the Chinese as 
opium-smokers ?— Not of any value. 

3516. "What do you think is the reason why so many 
people take opium habitually in this country P-The major- 
ity of people that I know, who take opium, do not begm it 
until their vital powers are failing, that is to say, until 
they are 40 or 50 years of age, and then it is usually on the 
advice of their elders, who advise them to take it, to im- 
prove their health, when they begin to breatidown in any 
way and are not up to their former condition. I now have 
a native patient in the town, who is suffering from heart 
disease, and he is being constantly urged by the members of 
his family to take opium. They tell htm to take it tor 
his stomach's sake and his many infirmities. Those are 
almost the words he used himself. 

3517. Not as an aphrodisiac P— No, not all— not m such a 

3*518. It has been said that wine is the old man's milk. 
Is it in that sense you mean it ?— It is in that sense that 
{hey take opitun. 



3519. For what other purpose is it taken by the poorer 
classes p— The belief enables them to withstand the effects of 
chills. It iR taken also as a preventative of diatrhcea and 
dysentery, and for the treatment of chronic diMrrhoea and 
dysentery, and for asthma. I have found it useful in the „, ^^ 
treatme.it of diabetes, and also as a prophylactic in the 
treatment of malarial fevers. 

3520. Do you agree with the opinion that the excessive 
use of opium is apt to diminish the fertility of families ?— 
I am unable to give an opinion upon that point, but there 
is evidence. I believe, to bear out that sugge-'ition, especially 
that of the late Dr. Vincent Kichards, who studied the 
subject in Orrisa {vide Indian Medical Gazette for 
August 1877). I think I ought to say something mora 
about the use of opium in malaria. When one comes to 
India the first thing that strikes one is what seems to be 
the rooted and unreasonable objection that the natives have 
to being treated with quinine. Even now one has some- 
times to prescribe quinine under a synonym, because the 
patients have very often such a strong objection to it, that 
if they know there is qniuine in the medicine they will 
not take it. After a time one finds out that this objection 
is not unreasonable, and that there are a great many 
fevers, — 1 might almost say the majority of cases of 
fever vi'hich 1 have to treat in Bengal, — which aie not only 
not benefited by quinine, but which are aggravated by 
it. That we find out after some years, and we are 
able after a time clinically to distinguish those cases which 
are aggravated by quinine from tliose which are benefited 
by it. 1 treat a large number of cases of fever without any 
quinine excepting in convalescence. 

3521. Tliat is to say, you distinguish more than one type 
of fever which is prevalent p — Not only more than one type. 
I believe that there is more than one infection. Though 
they are lumped under the name "malarial " and appear in 
the records of the hospitals as malarial fever, 1 am convinced 
that they are not really malarial, and in these cases quinine 
would cause an aggravation of the symptoms. 1 tliink that 
is the common opinion of all medical men of any experience 
in India. 

3522. Your remarks point to the conclusion that the 
distribution of quinine would not replace opium in these 
dii-tricts p — No, not at all ; quinine is of very limited 
application. I am not betraying any confidence when 1 state 
that Er. Birch, who was recently Principal of the Medical 
College at Calcutta, suffered frequently from fever. 
He constantly took laudanum for the relief of the 
symptoms, and he assured me that he never got the 
same benefit from any other drug in the Pharmaco- 
pceia. Brunton, who is a great authority upon therapeutics, 
mentions the same circumstance, and gives reasons for the 
benefit of opium in cases of fever. So also does Garrod. 
They both mention circumstances in the treatment of mala- 
rial fever in which opium is beneficial. '1 he same opinion 
is held in the Pen country in England where the people use 
large quantities of opium for the same purpose, both in 
the treatment and prevention of fever. 

3523. You have already given evidence to the effect that 
opium does not cause crime and violence p — Opium is not a 
cause of crime and violence or brutahty. According to my 
experience alcohol is the intoxicant of brutality ; ganja is 
that of sudden and uncontrolled violence. Chevers quotes 
a case of amok, "running-amuck," which was attributed 
to opium. In all my experience as a Ja^oflncer and the 
Superintendent of an asylum, as well as an expert relating 
to criminal lunatics, I have never known a case of "running 
amok" produced by opium. In my experience it has in- 
variably been caused by ganja. I know the case of a 

young Een^'ali who indulged in a single debauch with 
ganja. He went round the house at night and slew 
seven of his own relatives in their beds. Cases of men killing 
three or four of their neighbours under the influence of 
ganja are quite common in Bengal. But it is invariably 
ganja, aud not opium, which is the cause of these cases. 

3524. What do you say as to the practicability of limit- 
ing the use of opium in India to its purely medicinal 
purpose P— I believe that such a proposition could only 
originate with people who were absolutely unacquainted 
with the conditions of life which obtain in this country. It 
presupposes that there are places other than ordinary vendors 
shops where it could be obtained under medical advice; 
but there are no druggists or druggists' shops in the 
swamps of Bengal ; it presupposes that there are medi- 
oal men available who would be capable of giving tnat ad- 
vice with discretion ; and it also presupposes that there are 
means of communication available to the people .'"hich, as 
a matter of fact, do not e?ist. I think it is desirable that 



Surg.-Lt.^ 

Col. A. 

Crombie, 

M.D. 

1893. 



78 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION 



Surg.-Lt.- 

Col. A. 

Cromhief 

M.B. 

25 Nov. 1 893. 



the Commission should know something of the conditions of 
life obtaining in a place such as I have lived in for a great 
part of my service in India, — I refer to Eastern Bengal. 
There when a man wants to huild a house, he first of all digs 
a tank and with the earth from which he has dug the tank he 
raises a mound, and on the top of that mound he places his 
house. The elevation of that mound depends entirely 
upon the height to which the annual floods rise. The floods 
rise with fair regalarity ; hut sometimes they go two or three 
inches higher than the average, and then the inhabitants of 
those houses have to live on rafts inside their houses ; and 
their cattle are tethered up to their bellies in the water. 
These people have generally no boats. They paddle about on 
rafts made of the plantain tree, and the boys go to school in 
■what I call wash-hand basins. They are earthen gum. 
las. The boy squats at the bottom of the gumla and paddles 
to school. This is the only means of communication. 
Some of those dwellings are extremely isolated, There may 
be only one household within four or five miles. There is 
no native doctor or dispensary within five or ten miles of 
them. I am convinced that to deprive these people of the 
possession of opium, except under medical advice, would be 
a terrible and wanton cruelty. It is the only medicine of 
any value that is available to them, and if you deprive them 
of it I should not like to be one of those who do it. 
The hest practitioner in that part of the world available 
to the people is the Civil Hospital Assistant ; he is edu- 
cated at one of our Vernacular Schools, but he is of no 
avail whatever as a person of responsibility in whose hands 
to place opium for distribution purely on medical grounds. 
There are only a very few of them scattered throughout the 
districts, and they are as a rule very poor and 
altogether dependent on the good-will of their neighbours ; 
to them, a matter of four or eight annas or a rupee would be 
Buffioient to let any man in the country obtain opium. I 
ought also to mention another thing, that here in Calcutta, 
which swarms with practitioners and with hospitals in 
every direction, where people can obtain free advice, and 
there are medical practitioners of every persuasion, fifty 
per cent, of the people die without any medical attend- 
ance whatever — that is even in Calcutta. These statistics 
were given by the Health Officer of Calcutta in 1891, and 
they will be found at page 5 of his report for that year, 
which I now hand in. 

3525. {Lord Brassey.) In the country districts, how 
would it be ? — If it is fifty per cent, in Calcutta, I should 
say it is 75 per cent, in the mofussil, people dying without 
medical advice. The only medicine available of any value 
to them is opium. Instead of restricting opium any more 
than is done now, I think that every householder in this 
part of the world ought to have opium always in readiness 
in case of emergency. I never travel without it. Even 
when I came from England the other day, my wife pro- 
vided me with laudanum as a safeguard for the journey. 
I did not take it, but I always travel with it. There 
are one or two points which I have omitted and which I 
ought to mention. Besides my other duties here in Cal- 
cutta, I am Consulting Physician to the East Indian Rail- 
way, and I have obtained figures as to the number of natives 
employed on that Eailway, which extends from Calcutta 
to Jubbulpore on the one hand, and to Kalka on the other. 

3526. (Chairman.) What was the number of employ^ ? 
— 850 Europeans, 525 East Indians, and 39,750 Natives at 
the present moment. 

3527. About 40,000 P— Practically 40,000 natives. I 
have been Consulting Physician for five years, and all the 
reports from the different medical officers of the districts 
are submitted to me half-yearly. During these five years 
the name of opium has not once appeared in any of the 
reports. On questioning the medical officers, they tell me 
that it does not come before them either professionally or 
officially, yet this Railway passes throuf^h the opium-grow- 
ing and opium-eating districts of Behar and the North- 
West Provinces. One medical officer said that the native 
doctor sometimes pointed out to him that a patient was an 
opium-eater, but he himself was unable to discover the 
fact. 

3528. Has it come within your knowledge whether any 
of the servants of the Railway have been dismissed in 
consequence of opium-eatingp— I asked Mr. WagstafE. the 
Secretary of the East Indian Eailway, who has been in the 
head office in Calcutta for 28 years, and this is his reply 
— " During the 28 years I have been in the head office 
here I do not remember a single case being reported of a 
native of any grade beina; unfit for duty owing to the use 
of opium, and the experience of the Deputy Traffic Mana- 
ger, with about the sumo length of service on the line, is 
precisely the same. There have, however, been one or two 
solitary instances of su,spected oases of indulging in ' bhang ' 



but nothing proved. You may make what use yon 
choose of this information." I am also in another 
capacity Dep6t Surgeon to three Emigration Agencies which 
send coolies to the West Indies. A large part of these are 
recruited in the North- West Provinces, and a considerable 
number, though a smaller proportion, in Behar. During 
the last six years 48,170 coolies have been despatched to 
the West Indies from these three dep6ts. The proportion 
is 100 men, 42 women, and 15 children. That leaves 32,000 
male statute adults. During those five or six years it has 
only come to my knowledge twice or three times that the 
man I was examining was an opium-eater. It has not 
been because I discovered it for myself, but because the 
man has asked for opium, and then it was discovered that 
he was an opium-eater. As regards his physical and mental 
condition, he was not to be distinguished from the other 
coolies. I ought to mention that every coolie sent to the 
West Indies is first examined by the Civil Surgeon up- 
country, then by myself, then by the ship's Surgeon, and 
then by the Inspcctor'of Emigrants ; also by the Protector 
of Emigrants, all of whom have, for many years past, 
been medical men ; and yet we are sending a considerable 
number of opium-eaters to the West Indies. It is against 
the rules to send opium-eaters as emigrants to the West 
Indies, but we are so unable to detect an opium-eater that 
we are constantly sending them, as is discovered when they 
reach the West Indies. 

3529. What is your opinion as to the attitude of the 
people towards the opium question P — I have made many 
inquiries, and 1 have had a great deal of conversation with 
opium-eaters and opium-smokers and with people who are 
neither, and I think there is a consensus of opinion among 
all of these, including the opium-smokers themselves, that 
the chaudu and madat manufactures should be abolished. 
I distinguish between that and the mere abolition of the 
opium dens. I think that measure is absolutely futile, and 
that it will have no effect whatever on the consumption of 
opium as madat or chaudu. Of that I am perfectly con- 
vinced. There is as much opium-smoking in Calcutta now 
as there was before the opium dons weru closed. I myself 
believe that it would be a good thing to close these manu- 
facturies, to forbid absolutely the manufacture of chandn 
and madat in Calcutta. There would be a little discontent, 
among the Chinamen especially, but they are a small number, 
and special arrangements might be made in their favour. 
What would happen would he that the majority of 
those who now smoke opium would eat it, and there is no 
question that that is a comparatively harmless way of using 
opium. As regards the trade with China and the prohibi- 
tion of it except for medical purposes, what the people ask 
themselves is—" who would benefit by such a prohibition ? " 
They exclude themselves. Asked what would he the con- 
sequence of prohibiting opium, 1 believe their universal 
reply would be that it would lead to the increased use of 
both alcohol and ganja. There is, therefore, a suspicion, 
which, of course, I know to be absolutely unfounded in fact, 
that the agitation against opium is being got up in England 
in the interests of the liquor traffic. I have heard it 
repeatedly since I came back from Eui'ope, and there is no 
doubt that the belief is very widespread. 

3530. Of course you do not for a moment suggest it ? 
— On the contrary, I know that those who are most 
actively engaged against the opium traffic are also equally 
strong against alcohol, but I share the belief that prohibi- 
tion of opium would lead to a largely increased consump- 
tion of alcohol in India. This very morning I received a 
letter from a Missionary whom I have known for a consi- 
derable number of years, which I should like to read. 

3531. {Mr. Pease.) Where does he reside ? — I have not 
permission to mention the gentleman's name. I should 
like to be able to mention his name, but he has not given 
me permission. He is a resident in this part of India, and 
I have known him for 10 or 12 years. He says :— " I have 
seen the ill-effects of ganja and alcohol both in Bengal and 
Calcutta, but I have failed to discover the ill-effects of 
Opium. I believe that any attempt to deprive the people 
of this country of this stimulant would prove as abortive as 
would any attempt to deprive the people at home of their 
beer and their pipe. It was said in a tramcar yesterday 
morning that the people of England were trying to make 
the people of India give up opium for ' alcohol, and 
that Government was trying to make the people here what 
the people in England are. ' What is that, I asked ? ' 
Quick as lightning came the reply ' Drunkards." " Then, 
he adds " one swallow does not make a summer; but I 
must not take up more of your time." 

3532. Have you nothing further to tell us P — I think I 
have said everything that I desired to say. 

3533. You mentioned that a sensible proportion of the 
coolies, who were despatched under your supervision to the 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



79 



West Indies, were, •without your knowing it, opiutu-eaters P 
— Yea. 

3534. Do you receive any complaints from the West 
Indies with regard to the inefficiency of those men for 
labour ? — It is made a matter of complaint that we pass 
those men. A complaint is made by the Colonial Gov- 
ernment, but I do not know their reasons. 

3535. You are inclined to draw the inference that some 
of those opium-eatej's you send are, when they arrive, 
found to be, in consequence of their eating opium, inefficient 
as labourers P — That possibly is the opinion held in the 
West Indies. 

3536. May I take it that, so far as your experience in 
Bengal extends, the moderate use of opium in the eating 
form does not impair a man's efficiency for labour? — 
In moderate use it oei-tainly does not- 

3537. Do you suppose that these people complained 
of in the West Indies were immoderate consumers? — I 
think that when they go there they are probably brought 
under other influences, combining alcohol with opium, and 
under those circumstances the opium has probably a more 
deleterious effect than it would have in their own country 
where they are abstainers and live on vegetable food. 

3538. I understand you to make a special recommend- 
ation that the preparation of chandu and madat should 
be forbidden ?— I should not be soiTy to see it stopped. 
I will go further and say that I think it would be a good 
thing for the people who indulge in smoking opium if 
that could be stopped. 

3539. Are those establishments, to which you refer, 
places where the operation is carried on, under license from 
the Government ? — The sale of chandu and madat is 
carried on under license ; the smoking of opium is now 
carried on privately in what are called clubs. 

3540. But the preparation is done in establishments under 
Government license? — Yes. 

3541. You think that no such licenses should be given ? 
— I should be glad to find that they were stopped 
altogether. 

3542. {Chairman.) You know that chandu could be 
introduced from China?— It could, and it could be made in 
India, but it is rather difficult to make ; it requires to be 
Made in quantity, and very few people would be able to 
afford the outlay to make a large quantity. Besides, the 
possession of a large quantity is, I believe, illegal. 

3543. (Mr. Pease.) You have spoken of the difference be- 
tween the effects of madat and chandu. Will you give us 
your opinion a little more fully? — I think that the 
class of people who smoke mada^ are of a lower moral 
and general physique than those who smoke chandu. I 
have seen more madat-smokers with deteriorated health 
without any apparent cause except the madat ; and then 
I have seen madat-smokers who are themselves of opinion 
that madat-smoking is extremely deleterious to the health. 
I think the belief is almost universal among them, and yet 
I have seen madat-smokers who have smoked 20 or 30 
years and still retain a perfect physique. A considerable 
number of them, however, are of very poor physique, and 
I believe, of very low moral standard generally. The way 
in which they smoke it in company leads to excess, as well 
as the effect which it may have itself. I am unable to explain 
why madat should be more deleterious than chandu, because 
madat is smoked through a hubble-bubble and ought to 
part with some of its ingredients to the water ; nevertheless, 
whether it is from some difference in the preparation or 
whether because it is smoked in terribly hot and confined 
places, the effect is distinct upon the madat-smoker. I 
think I could recognise an habitual madat-smoker without 
any difficulty ; I could not do so with an opium-eater or 
chandu-smoker. 

3544. Are the chandu and madat-smokers men who 
belong to the same race, and are they of the same social posi- 
tjQji p_They are of the same race ; they are both 
Kahomedans and Hindus, but I think that, for soma 
reason, the madat-smoker is of a lower social grade. 

3545. I gather that you think laudanum, opium, and 
taorphia have less eff'ect upon a European in India than 
upon one in England P— I am not quite sure about that. 
It is many years since I practised in England. When I 
was a practitioner in England, I was very young ; my im- 
pression is, however, that we give more opium here than 
they do in England, specially to European children. 

3546. (Mr. Wilson.) 1 think you said you always carry 
opium about with you P — When I travel. 

3547. Is that chiefly with a view to fever or diarrhcea ? 
— Diari-hcea and cholera are chiefly in my mind. I never 



suffer from fever. In the course of 21 years I have only Surg.-Lt.- 
been six days absent from my work from any cause, and Col. A. 
that was from fever. Crombie, 

3548. With regard to the respective qualities of madat 

and chandu, I think we have had evidence from more than 25 Nov. 1893. 

one witness — we certainly had it from one yesterday — ;just — 

the opposite of what you state? — I know the other 
opinion is held. I am aware that Mr. Westmacott, Excise 
Commissioner for some years, has expressed exactly an 
opposite opinion ; but I disagree with him. 

3549. In reference to the coolies whom you send to the 
West Indies you say that many come from the North- West? 
— The larger number. 

3550. Who pays the passage from the North-West to 
Calcutta P — Theie are local agents who are supplied with 
money to send them down. 

8551. And if you reject any of them here on whom does 
the loss fall ? — On the local agent for forwarding an opium- 
eater. 

3552. He is supposed to keep a sharp look-out ? — Na- 
turally. 

3553. Purely for his own protection ?— Yes. 

3554. I have a statement before me made by a medical 
practitioner at Sohagpur, who is M.E.C.S. and L.K.C.S., 
Edinburgh, a Parsee, and he says that in his opinion some 
50 per cent, of native children who die die from taking 
opium. — Yes. 

3655. I did not understand your evidence to relate to 
Sohagpur or the Central Provinces ? — No. 

3556. So that it might prevail there P — I can say no- 
thing as to what happens in the Central Provinces. 

3657. Yon were not referring to that district ? — No, 
only to Lower Bengal and Burma. 

3558. Will you tell us a little more than you have told 
us about the dens you visited ? — Perhaps I may read 
an account of one of these visits, which was written on the 
very same day, and submitted to my companion to verify 
and correct, so that it may be taken as an accurate account 
of the visit : — 

"Agreeably to my promise I re-visited the same opium 
den in the evening of Sunday, the 1st May. On this occa- 
sion I was accompanied by Dr. TuU Walsh, 1st Resident 
Surgeon of the Calcutta European General Hospital. The 
'back-shop' was not so full as on the preceding evening. 
The farther end was en;pty, and only three opium lamps 
were burning. Eound these were grouped fifteen men and 
one woman, evidently a prostitute. She was smoking a 
hookah. Only three men were actually smoking opium. 
The others were, as before, squatting or reclining on the , 
platforms, several of them smoking tobacco, the others chat- 
ting. None of them were asleep. They were, all with 
one exception, Mahomedans. The exception was a Hindu. 
Twelve of the fifteen were strong muscular, plethoric men. 
One was a man of apparently sixty-five years of age, who, 
when the subject was broached, was loud and persistent 
in his denunciation of the opium habit. It destroyed, 
he said, the health and dried up the body. He had 
himself smoked opium for thirty-two years, and when it was 
pointed out to him that he for his age was in very fair 
condition, he explained that that was due to his always 
having had plenty to eat, and he modified his expressions 
by limiting his remarks to the case of those who, being poor, 
were unable to supply themselve's with sufficient food along 
with opium. There was a very general consensus of 
opinion among those present that, under those circumstances, 
the habit of smoking opium was very pernicious, but with 
the ability to take a sufficiency of food, the habit, they said, 
was harmless enough. They certainly bore testimony in 
their own broad frames and brawny muscles and healthy- 
looking skins, bright eyes, and intelligent view of tha 
question, to the harmlessness of the practice as far as 
they were concerned. Another old man of some fifty-sir 
or sixty years of age, a lamp-lighter on board a steamer, 
had smoked opium for thirty years, and was to all appear- 
ance a hale man of his age. The gharami of the pre- 
vious day was again present, and greeted me with a 
•mile. He said he came every day at about 3 P.M. 
after his day's work and stayed till 6 or 6-30 p.k. He had 
been there for three hours then, and was intelligent, cheer- 
ful and bright, and was certainly not under the influence of 
opium in the ordinary acceptance of the expression, unless 
his brightness and intelligence were evidence of it. The 
smiling, shame-faced youth was also present. A deaf- 
mute, though not in the same rude health as the others, was 
still in fairly good condition. One individual did certainly 
look much below par, but that was due, the others said, to 
his not having enough to eat,— an opinion in which he seemed 



so 



INDIAN OPU'M COMMISSION 



Sitrg.-Lt.- 

Col. A. 

Crombie, 

M.B. 

25 Nov. 1893, 



to acquiesce. Questioned as to the comparative harm- 
fulness of alcoholic drinks and opium-smoking, they said 
— ' Look lit us, 3'OU find us here after two or three hours 
opium-smoking, sitting, talking quietly together ; if we had 
been drinking like the sahibs (they refened probably co the 
European sailors who frequent the brothels of the 
neighbiiurhood) we should have been quarrelling and 
fighting.' We then went behind the counter where the 
good-natured landlord had my new opium pipe ready. He 
had cemented the 'bowl' to the stem with 'blubber' and 
lashed it on with string, and it was ready for Mne. He and 
1 took up the correct position, reclining on the mat, on 
either side of the 'fairy' lamp, and he proceeded to prepare 
the charge of cbandu for me, and when it was readv, 
placed it on the 'bowl' (really a sliijhtly convex surface 
with a small pin-hole in the centre, over which the 
'bubbling opium mass is placed). Inverting the bowl over 
'the flame of the fairy lamp I proceeded to inhale the smuke, 
'which came in considerable quantity. It was perfectly non- 
'irritating, and I filled my lungs with it at each inspiration 
'as much as possible. The small hole over which the 
'opium was placed was constantly getting blocked, and an 
'iron wire had to be constantly used to clear it. I had the 
'pipe charged three times, and smoked with the interruptions 
'inseparable from the process for about ten minutes. The 
'effect was absolutely nil, and getting no ' forrader' by that 
'time, I did not think the game worth the candle and stop- 
'ped. After my own experience of opium-smoking I was 
"not surprised at the small elfect noticeable inourfiierds 
'of the 'den' several of whom stood on the other side 
'of the railed counter and watched my perfoimauce with 
'good-humoured cui'iosity. We paid two rupees each for our 
'pipes, the landlord refusing to take anything for' my smoke. 

" Dr, Walsh tells me that while we were behind the 
'counter altogether about a quarter of an hour or twenty 
'minutes, about ten or twelve persons came to purchase 
'chandu. It was sold to them in shells by two Chinamen 
'seated there for the purpose. A shellful cost about three 
'annas, but the usual quantity purchased was about five or 
'six pice worth {\\ to ^ annas). One man took away a 
'rupee's worth in a small cylindrical wooden box." 

Wishing to be extremely accurate, I sent my notes 
to Dr. Walsh and asked him to correct any error he 
might notice. On returning it, this is the remark which he 
made. " The man said that the boxes were made of cow's 
horn, not of wood." That was the only correction he had 
to make, so that I thiuk the account may be taken as 
accurate. 

3559. Was the consumption of opium on the premises 
prohibited at that time ? — J^lot at that time. 

356(1. I believe you have paid a more recent visit P — YeSf 
I visited the tame place on Thursday evening with your- 
self. 

3561. Will you tell us what you saw P — We saw a very 
active sale of chandu going on. We asked the Chinnman 
to show us the process of smoking chundu, which he did. 
There was one man asleep, but he instantly woke up, and he 
assured us that he was not an opium-smoker. Another 
man was lying in bed, but on going to him I found that he 
was suffering from colic ; he was not asleep. In the pre- 
mises behind, which I mentioned as the back-shop, the de- 
scription was no longer applicable. It was divided into a 
number of rooms, and in each of those rooms there were 
one or two what might be called divans or platforms sur- 
rounded by musquito curtains. Those are places used by 
Chinamen for smoking opium. There were, 1 think, three or 
four of those rooms, and they ware capable of accommodating 
from four to six men each. On questioning the Chinaman, 
who accompanied us, as to how it was, that these places 
•were there, he said they were used by their own employes, 
those employed in making chandu, which was being 
actively prepared in a shed close by. We then went to visit 
three or four opium clubs in the immediate neighbour- 
hood. 

3562. (Chairman) Will you tell us what number of 
persons were making chandu in comparison with the 
amount of accommodation provided for smoking p — I think 
there were four Chinamen behind the counter. There was 
one man taking the cash, another was ill with colic, and 
there were three or four perhaps employed in making 
chandu. That would be altogether about a dozen men. 

3663. And there was accommodation for how many 
smokers ? — Fourteen or fitfeen I should think, not more. 
We then went to visit the opium clubs close by. We went 
to three or four of those clubs, and found four or five men 
in each of them. Q'here was generally one engaged in 
smoking opium assisted by one of the others because 



the process of smoking chandu is a rather difficult one. 
There was a woman in one of the clubs who was asleep, 
but she woke up ; all the others were males. One of the 
men frequenting the place was in extremely bad health. 
I had no opportunity of examining him to tell whether 
he was an opium wreck, or whether his appearance was due 
to some disease ; but he certainly was a wreck. 

3564. (Mr. Wilson.) Will you tell the Commission 
whether you got any infoimati^n in one of those places as 
to the terms on which people came therep— Yes, we inquired 
into that point. Chandu must be apparently sinoked by 
three or four people. They told us that wlieii the chandu 
pipe is new it costs a rupee, but when old and seasoned it 
costs from four to six rupees. Apparently they smoke not 
only for the effects of the opium hut fortha flavour. An old 
opium pipe, like an old tobacco pipe, seema to be in favour, 
and it is bevond the resources of those men to have a pipe 
of their own, and they club together to smoke through one 
pipe. Tliey stated that tliev purchased the opium indivi- 
dually at the chandu shop close by, and brought it there 
to smoke in company. 'ihe keeper of the club in one or 
two instances said that he made his profit entiiely out of 
the refuse made from the pipes ; that he was paid nothing 
by the smokers, and that the contents of the pipes were his 
perquisite, and that he sold this " dirt," as he called it, to 
the chandu makers, as it seems to be necessary for making 
chandu that the refuse of the pipes should also be used. 

3565. I believe you had some conversation also with 
the people outside ? — Yes, we had a conversation with some 
of the people, several of whom were opium-smokera, and 
others were not; the general feeling was in condemnation of 
the habit unquestionably. Even the opium-smokers them- 
selves condemned it, and stated their willingness to give it 
up if they could do it. They also expressed an opinion 
that it would be well if those places were abolished alto- 
gether. 

35fi6. In reference to the Railway experience that you 
have had, do you think that if a man were kimwn to be an 
opium-eater or an opium-smoker he would be employed in 
a position of responsibility, for instance, as a signalman ? 
— I thiuk certainly he would be employed. 

3567. It would not be any harp— It would not be any 
bar to employment. The most intelligent servants we have 
in India are many of them opium-eaters. The men 
who do work in big offices in Calcutta, merchiints' oflices, 
the men in charge of the cash and of the discipline of the 
office, are generally, three out of four of them, opium- 
eaters. 

3568. In reference to the deaths of children, I do not 
know what system of registration of deaths or the causes 
of death prevails in India ; have you any means of getting 
at them? — '1 here are no means of getting at the truth. I 
used to make it a point to go round the villages on my 
tours and inquire as to the number of deaths that occur 
within a specified time. I used to take notes of these 
and go to the police oflice in the neighbourhood to compare 
them with the registration that takes place there, and I 
found that the number registered was about 1 in 3. 

3569. Of the deaths P — Yes, that was my experience. 

3570. Is there any system of registration of deaths in 
Calcutta now P — The system in Calcutta is explained in 
the book of the Health Officers which I have handed in. It 
is done at the burning ghats and the cemeteries. The 
agents of the municipality sit there and question the rela- 
tives of the deceased as to the cause of death. The statistics 
I allude to are obtained from these relatives as to who 
attended the patient during his illness, and so on. The 
object of Dr. Simpson was to get more exact statistics of 
the causes of death, and the discovery was made that 50 
per cent, of the people died without any medical attendance. 

3571. You said that within your own knowledge you had 
no cases of deaths of native children from opium though 
you had with Europeans P — Yes. 

3572. The object of my question was to ascertain whe- 
ther there were any statistics available in support of that 
information P — No statistics, but I may mention that 
besides the cases you are alluding to, these mofussil cases, 
my hospital was in a city of 80,000 inhabitants. The inhabit- 
ants of cities are much more given to alcohol, ganja and 
opium than people living in the mofussil. They are very 
fond of their children, that is one of the great points in the 
native charactei — their fondness for children ; and I am 
certain if there had been any cases of opium-poisoning of 
children in Dacca, while I was there, they would have been 
brought to me for treatment. 

3573. Do you believe that the people of Bengal at larga 
are acquainted with the antiperiodio properties of opium, 



MINUTES OF EVIDENOK. 



81 



and tliat they ask for it for fever P— They never aslt me for 
it, bccausH it is available to them without asking the doc- 
tors ; it would never occur to them to ask me for it, because 
they can buy it from the opium vendor. 

3574. Do you prescribe it as a prophylactic P— No, I have 
never done so. 

3575. Neither to natives nor Europeans P — No, I have 
never served in an extremely malarious district. Dacca 
IS not one of the extremely malarious districts. If I were 
serving in the Tarai, or spending the night in the Tarai, I 
should take quinine, but I would also take opium. 

3576. {Mr. Mowhi-ay.) With regard to the coolies I 
understand thut the restriction is iinpossd by the Colotiial 
Governor, not by you p— Yes, it is one of the oondithms under 
which we work. 

3577. I also understand that if the matter was within 
your own discretion you would not impose such a restric- 
tion ?— I think not. If I were eniplnying coolies, I would 
not inquire whether they were opium-eattrs. 

3578. With regard to your visit to the chandu shop, I 
suppose there is no special exception in favour of the Chinese 
in Calcutta p— Not as to the shops; this was spoken of as 
their private residence. 

3579. The manufacture of chandu and madtit oau only 
be Curried on under a license, I believe ? — I believe so. It is 
open to any one to make chandu or madat, but practically 
it is difficult to make it in small quantities, and stopping the 
manufacture of chandu and madat would practically mean 
the extinction of opium-smoking by natives of India. 

3580. {Mr Pease.) Under a recent rule no one is permit- 
ted to nianulactnie madat or chandu even for private 
consumption ?— That is the law of Bengal. I may be wrong, 
I have been absent from India for six mouths, and there 
may be a new rule now in force. 

3581. {Mr. Mowhray.) If you prohibited licenses you 
would prohibit the manufacture of chandu altogether p — 
That is my belief. 

3582. At present chandu is manufactured under license ? 
— I believe so. 

3583. Therefore by refusing to grant the licenses you 
would make the manufacture in any shape illegal .'' — Yes. 

3584. That is what you are disposed to recommend p — 
Yes, with regard to chandu and madat, as used by the natives 
of India. 



3585. You were two years at Rangoon ?— Yes. 

3566. I do not know whether you have formed any opi- 
nion with regard to Burma being on all fours with your 
experience in India P — I have not had sufficient experience 
to give an opinion of any value with regard to Burma. 

The witness withdrew, 



3587. {Mr. Fanshawe.) With regard to what you have Surr/n.-Lt.- 
Btatejl as to the habit of opium-eating being taken up as a Col.-A. 
rule in advanced life, you are speaking of Eastern bengal Cromhie, 
and Calcutta p— Eastern Bengal and Calcutta. ^-^^ 

3588. The experience may be different in other parts of 25 Nov. 1893. 
India p — I only .speak of my own experience. 

3589. The broad result of your general experience is that 
oiiinm is common to most houses as a domestic remedy P—I 
should not say it was common, for I believe that a great 
many houses would be searched without finding any opium 
at all. The point I wanted to make was this, that if re- 
pressive measures are used, they will soon become 
oppre.ssive, so that those who wish to have opium for legi- 
timate purposes, for disease as well as for the failing of old 
age, will be unable to get it. 

3590. You say that it is commonly used as a domestic 
remedy in Eastern Bengal P — I believe it is. 

3591. {Mr. Wilson.) With regard to your visits to the 
dens on Thursday, I did not ask you what was the nation- 
ality ot most of the people? — Most of them were Maho- 
medans unquestionably. I did not take a note of their 
nationality. I saw no Chinamen inside the opium clubs. I 
should think that nine-tenths of those present were Malio- 
medans. I cannot say whether there were Hindus tiiere or 
not; those that I remember were distinctly Mahome- 
daiis. 

3592. You mentioned just now to the Commission that 
the Chinamen said that these divans or platforms were for 
the use of those employed about the place? — That is what 
I understood. 

3593. You would not like to tell the Commission that you 
were convinced of the accuracy of that statement? — I 
should not like to give an opinion. I (mly saw a certain 
number of men. I do not know the actual number 
employed. 

3594. You simply repeat what you saw ? — Yes. 

3595. You would be sorry to endorse it from your 
impressions P — I could not endorse it : I do not know. 

3596. (Mr. Fanshawe.) Ynu are not prepared to ex- 
press any opinion on the subject? — I am not prepared to 
express any opinion on that subject. 

3597. {Mr. Mowhray.) Was an explanation given to 
you of what was primA facie an illegal position p — I should 
be sorry to say that it was illegal. I have no grounds for 
saying it at all. 

3598. [Chairman.) Have you any medical or chemical 
ex)>lanation of the difference in the efieots of chandu- 
smoking and of madat-smoldng p — I have no grounds to 
go upon for giving any opinion. I have heard opinion g 
expressed, but I think they are only fanciful. I know 
of no real grounds for an opinion. 



SuE(JEON-LlBDTBNANT-CoLONBL O'Bribn Called in and examined. 



3.399. (Chairman.) I believe you are Professor of Sur- 
gery and Descriptive Anatomy in the Calcutta Medical 
College P— Yes. 

3600. Have you had many opportunities of studying the 
effects of the opium habit on health? — I have had a fair 
opportunity of doing so, especially as a Civil Surgeon, that 
is, a District Surgeon, in two large districts in Bengal. 

3601. Before you had your present post ? — Yes. I was 
Civil Surgeon of the large district of Burdwan off and on for 
3J or 4 years, and I served in Shahabad, in Behar, for about 
18 month.s. 

8602. Did you see a good deal of the opium habit p — I 
had numerous opportunities of observing it, inasmuch as 
I lived amongst an opium-eiitiug race in a greater or le.ss 
degree. I believe opium is more consumed in Behar than in 
Lower Bentral, but I can say that very little of this habit 
piesented itself to my notice. 

3603. What has your experience led you to conclude 
with regard to the opium habit ? In the first place do you 
distinguish between the opium habit as moderate and as 
excessive ? — Yes, I draw a marked distinction between the 
two. It would be im.possible to recognize a moderate opium- 
eater. Y(JU might as well expect to recognize whether a 
man drinliS tea or coffee. When opium is taken in modera- 
tion it has no ill-effect upon the constitution that I am 
aware of. 

3604. What do you say as to the question of excess apart 
from the subject of disease ?— Let me premise by saying 
that my evidence refers entirely to eating opium. I have 



no experience whatever of smoking opium. I was not 
aware tliat it was smoked at all, or at any rate to any 
noticeable extent in the two big towns in which I served. 
I was in Burdwan for 3| years, I think I knew every hole 
and corner of the town. I was consulted most extensively 
by natives ; I knew them and was familiar with them, 
rich and poor. I attended the dispensary every day — two 
large dispensaries with an aggregate ot 300 patients per 
diem. 

3605. You knew that a considerable number of those 
did use-opium ? — I knew that a considerable number used 
it, hut I think the number has been exaggerated. I would be 
inclined to say that the number of adult males using opium 
in a malarial district like Burdwan did not exceed 5 or 6 per 
cent of the total population. Five per cent, would be I 
think a hiu-h estimate of adult males ; indeed, I would say 
eldeily males, because I never knew a young opium-eater 
in my experience. 

:S606. Will you tell us whether you have heard the evi- 
dence given by Dr. Harvey and Ur. C'rombie, and whether 
you substantially agree with that evidence? — Yes, I substan- 
tially agree with all that was said by Dr. Harvey, because 
his experience like my own relates to the eating ot opium. 
Dr. Crombie gave a good deal of information about the 
smoking of opium as to which I know nothing. There is 
auother point upon which Dr. Crombie gave his opinion and 
the results of his experience as to the use of opium in larger 
doses amongst children and people generally in this country. 
I have had no such experience. I have confined my doses 
of opium to doses similar to those administered at home, as 
a rule. Except in the case of opium-eaters, when a much 

L 



iSnrffn.-Lt,- 
Col." O'Brien, 



83 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION 



25 Nov. 1893. 



Surgn.-Lt.- larger dose hiid to be given. Latterly my experience has 
Col. O'JBrien. been enlarged in the treatment oC fevers, and 1 have come 
to recognize what Ur. Crombie has also recognised, viz., the 
■ disadvantage of quinine in many oases and the undoubted 
remarkable benefit to be derived from the use of opium. 

3607. Would you like to call the attention of the Com- 
mission to anything that has come within your own 
experience? — In 1881 1 lived in Burdwau when cholera and 
fever were enormously prevalent. Tlie death-nite in the last 
quarter of this year or 188ii exceeded a decimation rate. 
People died at the rate of about 12 per cent, as far as I can 
remember in that quarter. Cholera was prevalent and fever 
prevailed everywhere. Every Kuropean in the station was 
laid low with it. One day I had fever myself and 1 had a 
letter from every European in the station asking me to go aud 
see him because be was ill with fever. At that time I had 
as my assistant a medical practitioner of great intellectual 
power and professional ability. He was a very weuiily man, 
tall and thin, with a very poor physique. He escaped 
through all this illness that laid us low on every side. I 
said to him " How has it happened that you nianai;ed to 
"escape, a weakly fellow like you, when we are all knocked 
"down P" " I think, " he said, "that I owe my immunity to 
"the fact of taking 3 or 4 grains of opium every day." I 
have known opium-eaters who have taken over luO grains. 

3608. {Mr. Pease.) In what period?— fn the 24 
hours, the morning dose, consisting of 2 pills about the 

size of small marbles. Among my acquaintances was 
a gentlemim, respected, benevolent, and intelligent, con- 
nected with the Burdwan Eaj, occupying a position 
as Jlinister in the Eaj. He died at an advanced age, 
about 75. His daily dose was over 100 grains, but 
he was well nourished, active, rarely ill, and, to the best 
of mj' knowledge, exempt from the attacks of malaria 
which were so fatal in the town. I was consulted by his 
family and I saw many people in his bouse, hut he 
was never ill himself. He was a large opium-eater, but he 
did not suffer in any degree from the opium cachexia. 
As 1 look back over my twenty-three years' experience of 
India, most of which was spent in the molussil and in 
Assam, alongperic.d in the hills, and a good deal in Bengal, 
I can only recollect three or four cases of pronounced opium 
cachexia, that is, ill health due to opium only. I do not think 
this opium cachexia could exist without my knowledge. 

3609. {Lord Brassey.) In your experience would you 
say that the consumers of opium in uuideration were the 
many, and the immoderate consumers the few P — In my 
experierce I may say that the moderate consumers form the 
large majority. 

3610. {Mr. Wilson.) I understand that, except in the point 
speciiiUj mentioned, you substantiiiUy agree with Dr. Har- 
vey and Ur. Crombie P — Yes, with refeience to eating 
opium. 

3611. With regard to its use as a domestic remedy 

The witness 



would you say that people keep it in their houses for that 

purpose or purchase it when they want it P — I think they 
purchase it when they want it, as far as my knowledge 
goes. 

3612. I believe jou are connected with one of the large 
Insurance Associations? — I am. 

3613. Will you tell us the practice of your Association or 
youi expeiience in connection with it? — Hy experience in 
coiineotiou with it is that but very few acknowledge the 
opium habit, and I have no means of detecting it. One of 
the questions that I have to ask is "Do you consume gaiija 
or opium p " Everybody almnst without exception says " no. " 
Occasionally, I dare say, one may take some, and perhaps 
one in a hundred will acknowledge it. I have no means of 
detecting it. 

3614. You had no cases in which you could say from the 
man's appearance that he consumed opium? — 0( course 
anyone who is a pi onounced opium cachectic would not 
cnme to me because he would know that he would be 
rejected ; the sub-agent would not bring such a man. 

3615. He would be stopped before he came to you? — 
Yes ; 1 should think so. I never see such cases. 

3616. Then priictiially except for the question being in 
the pioposal form, you would not recognize it in connection 
with the Insurance Company ? — I do not recognize it 
because I do not see it. 

3617. My point is that the Company would equally 
accept proposals for insurance Irom persons who take opinm 
and from persons who do not p — Foi my own part, if a man 
said that he was a moderate opium-eater, and if his condition 
Was good, 1 should feel inclined to )>ass him; but as I have 
told jou, such cases have not really come to me. If 1 asked 
the man how much opium he took and he said four grains, 
I should not consider that a case for rejection. 

3618. In your dispensary at Burdwan did you give 
opinm to the people who came with feverp— No, Wi 
never used opium for. the treatment of fever, unless 
insomnia occurred. 

3619. Didyou recommend opium to Europeans under your 
charge as a proph;; lactic p— I never recommended it, but I 
know it was largely used as a prophylactic. 

3620. Do you think it was employed in Burdwan in 
order to euie fever P — Not that 1 know of. It is employed 
as a prophylactic in small doses. 

3621. {Mr. iUuwbray.) Do I understand that you agree 
with the last two witnesses, not only in their opinion as to 
effects ol 0|iiuin-eating, but also as to the practical difficul- 
ties, amounting in their opinion to impossibilities, in limit- 
ing the consumption to what is required for medical 
purpose?— I think it would be absolutely impossible. It 
would give rise to miuirirling aud to difficulties of all des- 
criptions which it would take some time to think over and 
point out. As far as I have thought over the question, the 
difficulties appear to be practically insurmountable. 

withdrew. 



Suryii. 

Lt.-Col. 

J. F. P. 

McConnel 



SnEGN. -Lt.-Col. James Fbbdbeick Pabet McConnell called in and examined. 



3622. {Chairman.) I believe you are a Professor of Mate- 
ria Medica in the school here? — Yes. 

3623. That would naturally lead you to study the opium 
question trom a professional point of view ? — Yes. 

3624. What opportunities have you had of observing the 
opium habit in India ? — iVly opportunities have been con- 
fined to Calcutta. I have been stationed in Calcutta nearly 
the whole of my service. 

3625. Has your expeiience been confined to any class or 
grade of society or pretty evenly through all grades p — 
Through all grades. I have been connected with one of 
the largest native hospitals here, and my practice as a 
consultant has been one of the largest among the native 
population. 

3626. Will you tell us how (ar this opium habit in 
Calcutta prevails ? — I have never "nquired into the matter 
particularly, but 1 should say, roughly speaking, about 
one per cent. 

3627. Of adults not more than one per cent, p — I think 
not ; my experience would bad me to say not more than 
one per cent. 

3628. In the cases you have observed in which opinm has 
been used habitually, what results have you noticed? — My 
experience has been, that where it has been used habitually, 
the use with very few exceptions is moderate, and as to t,be 
results, BO far as I have been able to judge, no harm has 
been done either morally or physically. 



3629. Have you seen examples of opium used in excess 
by itself ?— I have. 

363(1. I should be glad to know whether in anycase of 
that soit, where there has been no sickness or poverty or 
starvation or semi-starvation, what the etiect of the 
isolate.l opium habit in excess has been on the state of 
health ?-I have only seen it used in excess in a few cases • 
1 do not suppose I have seen more than three or four, and 
they have been all in consequence of disease ; the habit has 
been acquired m the first instance in consequence of 
disease, and has grown until large amounts have been 
taken. 

3631. You have not seen an opium drunkard pure and 
simple ? — No. ^ 

3632_ Prom your knowledge generally would you agree 
with the conclusions arrived at by Dr. Harvey and Dr. 
Crombie P— Yes. 

3633 Have you any further particulars which you wish 
to giver— No. •' 

^^.^^'^\''^^A■J^''''■^ I believe you are of opinion that 
there should be some restriction upon the nnficensed sale 
ofopmmby retail vendors? Have ,ou any suggestions 
to make on that subject P-I do not know how it would be 
carried out, but I think it would be desirable. 

3635. You say it is necessary, in order to prevent 
filicide P--ies, because the numbers of eases of suicide are 
very numerous and the drug is easily procured. There 
IS some restriction, but it is a slight one. A person cannot 



MINUTES OK EYIDISNCE. 



83 



obtain more thnii one rupee's worth from each sliop. That 
would be more than sufficient fov suioidiil purpofes ; but if 
it were not, there is notliing to prevent a persun IVoin going 
to half a diizen shnps and getting a rupee's worth from each. 
I do not know liow it cm be worked, but it wonld bo well 
if some means could ba devised of limiting the quantity 
that could be purohasiible. 

3636. What do you say is a sufficient quantity to kill a 
woman ? — Ten or twelve grains would be sulficient 

3637. What would 
430 to 440 grains. 



a rupee's woi-th amount to ? — 



3638. Then a fatal dose might easily be obtained for one 
rupee ? — Yes. 

3689. {Mr. Wilson.) How much is sufficient to kill P— 
Prom 8 to 10 grains. 



3640. That would only be 2 pice Worlh ? — Yes, I am Surqn.-Lt.- 
tall<ing of persons unaccustomed to use opium and buying Col. 

it simply for the sake of committing suicide. J. F, P. 

11. • , -1 MeConnell. 

3')41. A person habituated to opium in what might be 

called moderation would require moreP — Yes. 25 Nov. 1893. 

3642. In the same way in your practice, if a person has 
become what I think you professionally call tolerant of 
opium, you have to give a larger dose medicinally to 
accomplish the same purpose than you would give to a 
person who is not accustomed to it ? — That is quite true. 

3643. You have no statistics on the subject p — I have 
roughly worked through my own cases, and I find that 
last year, 1892, in my own wards in the hospital we had -53 
cases of opium-poisoning. 



The witness withdrew. 



SUBGEON-LIBUTENANT-COLONBL R. C, 

3644. (Chairman^ I believe yon are Professor of Opthal- 
mic Medicine and Surgery in the Medical College P — Yes. 

3645. Have you in your previous service hadmany oppor- 
tunities of observing the opium habit?— I was many 
years in the North-West Provinces, and when there I came 
across a considerable number of people who admitted 
having t.iken opium. I was in the North- West Provinces 
from 1874 to 1881. 

3646. Did you pay special attention to the opium habit ? 
— I noticed the people carefully. 

3647. Did you notice any ill-effects p — I never could 
see any ill-effects. I had to find out by asking tliem, and 
it was only when they had a certain confidence in me that 
they would tell me ; but I have never seen anybody badly 
affected from the opium habit in any case that I have 
attended in India. 

3618. In cases where you have known opium to be used 
habitually, were they moderate eases ? — Moderate. 

3649. Did you see many cases, apart from disease, 
where the dose is increased by the habitual eater? — I think 
as people get a little older they slightly increase the dose, 
but they do not do so to any very large extent. It is 



SiNDBES, M.D., called in and examined. 

quite an exception for a man to take an enormous dose of 
opium. 

3650. The tolerance becomes greater perhaps ?— It may 
be slightly greater. I do not think it comes on quickly ] 
they do not go on month by month or week by week, but 
perhaps in five years or so they will slightly increase the 
dose. 

3651. Have you seen any cases of iniuri'ous effects 
from decided excess in the habit ?- I have never seen any 
cases of decided excess. 

3652. You have heard the evidence that has been given 
at great length by Dr. Harvey and Dr. Crombie : may I 
assume that you agree with their evidence ? — 1 agree with 
their evidence almost in its entirety. I do not know much 
about opium-smoking. There is one point to which I should 
like to refer. Dr. Crombie stated that it was a common 
opinion amongst the people in this country that the Opium 
Commission has something to do with the distilleries of 
whisky and gin. I have heard it in five different places in 
Calcutta within the last three days, that the whole question 
has been brought up in order to get more whisky and 
gin imported into this country. I have tried my best to 
deny it absolutely ; but there is that opinion, and I have 
no doubt that it will increase. 



Surgn -Lt.- 

Col. B. C. 

Sander 8 f 

M.D. 



The witness withdrew. 



BfiiaADB-ScTRGEON-LiEUTENANT-CoLoiiBL PuEVBS, P.R.C.S.E., Called iu and examined. 



3653. (Chairman.) Have you had considerable ojipor- 
tnnities of witne.-sing the effects of the opium habit 
in India ?— I have, iu my general practice and work during 
the last 2 years. 

3654. In Calcutta?— In different parts of India. For 
a short time I was in the North-West, then I was in Assam 
three years ; Assam was then part of i^engal. The rest of 
my service has been iu Bengal. 

3655. I believe, according to your experience, the con- 
sumption of opium in Bengal does not obtrude itself on one's 
observation in the way that the effects of alcohol do at 
home P— It does not. 

3656. And you do not consider that the moderate use of 
opium produces evil effects on the physical and moral con- 
dition of the people ?— I do not. 

3657. In malarial tracts do you think that the people 
look upon the drug as a kind of prophylactic against 
disease ?— Yes. 

3658. Are you of opinion that it does help in malarious 
districts P — That is my opinion. I have known in malariou.s 
districts a great number of people take opium in small 
quantities : they say it relieves them of fever and compli- 
cations connected w'ith malarial disease, such as dysentery 
and rheumatism. 

3659. What was your experience in Assam ?— When I 
went to Assam almost fresh from home, I was prejudiced 
against the use of opium in the way it is used in India. At 
first I thought that some of the miserable cases that came 
into the hospital were due to opium, but after more 
experience I found that they had taken opium on account 
of malarial disease, and that probably it had prolonged life 
and relieved their sufferings. 

3660. You have not seen any real damage to health from 
the opium habit standing by itself P— I have never seen a 
case where I could trace death to opium alone, without 
disease having been present at the same time. 



Brg.-Swgn- 

3661. Have j-ou seen poverty induced by the opium J-^--Col. 
habit in excess ? — Not where I have been able to verity it p tj'p'o*')? 
personally. ' 

3662. Would you agree generally with the evidence 
that has been given this morning of the effects of opium 
on health P — I generally ag^ree that the moderate use of 
opium in this country is rather beneficial than otherwise. 
If opium were stopped, they would take to much worse 
things, such as drink and ganja, to a greater extent than at 
present. 

3663. Is there anything else that you would like to 
state by way of supplementing the evidence that has been 
given P — -The great difficulty is to find out the signs of 
opium-eating. In this country a great number of respect- 
able inhabitants amongst the middle class natives eat opium 
to a considerable extent, nobody suspecting them. They 
carry on their duties in such a way that nobody would 
suspect them of taking opium. Only a few days ago I met 
a native gentleman who said that most of his friends who 
lived near him (about 24), took opium more or less, and that 
all were driven to it on account of disease and fever and 
general ailments, and that they were now doing their work 
in a way that they had never been able to do befoi'e they 
took opium. This gentleman did not take it himself. Only 
yesterday I discovered to my surprise that two of my best 
servants had been opium-eaters for years. I had never 
suspected them. 

3664. Is there any further remark you desire to make? — 
It has been said that the use of opium is a very common 
cause of suicide. I quite agree with Dr. Harvey that 
no doubt ill different parts of India people have differ- 
ent methods of committing suicide. The other day 
I asked a native gentleman his opinion, whether he 
thought prohibition Would prevent suicides, and he said, 
'' If opium is to be done away with in order to prevent 
suicide, clothing will also have to be done away with, 

L 2 



84 



INDIAN OPIUM OOJIMiSSION 



]3rg.-8urgn- 
Lt.-Col. 
Paivetf 

F.M. C.S.S. 

25 Nov. 1893. 



beciiuse there are far more suicides from ropes made from 
garments than there are from opium." During the last 
jear out of 35 poh'ce cases sent in as suicides, only 6 were 
from opium. Twenty-seven cases were cases of suicidal 
hanging, two were from drowning, and six were from 
opium. 



3665. Those numbers are official ? — Yes, from the Howi'ah 
District. 

3B66. Is there any furthei- rernarli: you desire to make ? — 
I have only to say tliat to stop the (growth and sale of 
opium in India would be almost impossible on axicouut of 
the amount of smuggling that would go on. 



The witness withdrew. 



Surgn.-Lt.- 

Col. E. (?. 

Russell. 



SnRGEON-IiIEUTENANT-C0I,0NBL E. 

3667. {Chaiyman.) Have you had considerable opportu- 
nities of studying the habitual use of opium ? — Yes. Con- 
siderable in Assam for several years. Fur seven years I was 
in As.'^am, and since then io a great many distriufs of 
Lower Bengal, 24-Pargauas, Hooghly, Kajshahi, Nnddea 
and Patna. 

3668. Yon mentioned Assam first, I think p — I was in 
Assam first. I was there seven years, 

3669. What part of Assam P — Lower Assam, in the dis- 
trict of Kamrup. 

3670. Is that a large town ? — Kamrup is a district, the 
town is Gauliati. 

3671. Wliat percentage of the population are opium- 
eaters? — From 5 to 10 per cent. 

3672. Wliat province does that apply to? — To the 
Province of liengal. 

3673. You mean 5 or 10 per cent, of the total population 
of adult males? — Adult males. 

3674. Have you observed any racial difference in the sus- 
ceptibility to opium of the different Indian races ? — No, I 
cannot say that I have. 

3675. Have you had any experience in Oriasa? — .Vone in 
Orissa. No personal expeiience. 

3676. Wliat is your experience with regard to the diffu- 
sion of the habit through the mass of the population ? — HiirU 
and low. I do not think that the opium habit is confined to 
any special social stratum of the people. 

3677. AVhat is your impression as to effects of opium-eat- 
in" on the health and morals of the people ? — I think that in 
the malaria-stricken icfjions, esiieoially amonj; a population 
insufficiently and unsuitably clothed and inditleiently fed 
its effects are decidedly beneficial, leafing to a healthy life 
and longevity. 

3678. Yon do not know of any disease produced by the 
habitual use of opium ? — None. I do not think that anj' 
disease or any susceotihilitv to disease is produced by the 
moderate and liabitnal use of opium. 

3679. You have heard the views expressed by Dr. Harvey 
and Dr. Crombie: does your experirnee coincide with 
theirs P — Practically. 

3680. So far as the effect on health and morals is con- 
cerned P — Yes. 

3681. Is there anything else you wish to add? — I may 
add a word to what the other medical witnesses have said 
as to the opinion that is extant with regard to the connec- 
tion of the anti-opium agitation with the iuteiests of the 

The witness 



G. R0SSBIL called in and examined. 

distilleries of home. The fact that it is groundless will 
scarcely interfere with the spread of the belief among the 
population of India. 

3682. {Mr. Wilson). I think you are the author of a 
book on malaria? — Yes. 

3683. I have a copy of that before me published in 1880. 
Do you adhere to the views therein expiessed, or have you 
modified them materially since you wrote that book ? — I 
have to some extent modified them. I have had 13 years' 
more experience. 

3684. You say in the second chapter: — " The opium-eater 
enjoys consideiable immunity from malarial afl'ecticms, in 
the early stage — the first few years of indulgence in the 
habit, before organic visceral chancres are set up, and the 
general shattering of constitution results, which prema- 
turely break down the consumer of o])iura, and render him 
an easy prey to diseases of every kind.' And further on 
there is something of the same kind as to the opinion of 
other surfreons, which would look as if you thought that 
it did some good at the beginnin;;, but ultimately destroyed 
the man ? — The mischievous effects of it are confined to the 
opium sot, the drunkard, the excessive habitual user. 

3685. You refer to the " opium-eater,'' which would 
hardly convey the impression of an opium sot ? — It is to 
be taken with that meaning, as you will see if you look at 
the context. I desire it to be so taken. 

3686. Further on you say : — " The prevalence of this 
habit is the curse of our jail po|iulations in Lower Assam. 
No work can be got out of the long-confirmed opium-eater." 
'J'hat does not seem to convey to an ordinarv lay reader 
the idea that you speak of an opium sot ? — It is the 
opium sot that I am speaking of, as will be seen from the 
context in the next few pages. 

3687. Further on you say : — " The observations of several 
surgeons, of extensive experience in opium-eating reo-ions. 
confirms the popular belief that the opium-eater, ia the 
early stages of the habit, while as yet not constitutionalh 
broken by its long continuance, does, as a matter of fact, 
enjoy considerable immunity from malarial affections." 
I think you will agree that the term " long contiTiuan'-t" 
is hardly the same as excetsive use ?— It means excessive 
and long continued use. 

3688. You quote, apparently with approval to Dr. 
Garrod in his Materia Medica that " thai e are other re- 
medies which jiossess greater anti-periodic powers, without 

the narcotic properties." You agree with that probably p 

Yes. 

withdrew. 



Siirgn.-Maf. 
n. Cobb, M.J). 



SttEGEON-MA.iou R. Cobb, M,D. 



3689. (Chairman.) Yon are a Surgeon-Major in the 
Indian Medical Service, I belii'vep— I am. 

3690. How long have you been in the sei vice ?— About 
17 years. 

3691. What have beeTi your duties during that time p — 
During a greater part of the time I have been in civil 
employ in Lower and Eastern Benual. I have had charge 
ot some I Qspitals in various parts of Bengal. 

3692. Have you had charge of any lunatic asylums P— 
Yea. I am at present in charge of the Dacca Lunatic 
Asylum. I have held executive and medical charge of 
Central and Dislrict .lails, and I ha»e charge of the Mitford 
Hospital at Dacca. 

3693. Haie yon exorcised your profession among Euro- 
peans and Natives ? — Yes. 

3694. In what part ?— In Dacca. 

3695. How far, in your large experience, do you think 
the opium halifc has extended amongst the classes you 
have to do with ? — I estimate Irom about 3 to 5 per cent, of 
Hindus in Dacca and the neighbouring parts. 

3696. Do you mean adults or the whole population ? — 
'J'he whole jiojiulation. 



3697. Then that would be about 20 per cent, of the adult 
population ; is it so common as that ? — Very common • it 
may be as much as 20 per cent. 

3698. Is it confined to one class ?— No ; the Mahomedans 
take it to a greater extent than the Hindus. 

3699. Do the rich and poor take it, ? — Yes. 

3700. Is any stigma attached to the practice P — Not to the 
moderate use ; only to opium-smckinij. 

3701. Is opium-smokinp; unfashionable in Dacca?— It is 
not fashionable amongst the higher classes ; the poorer, low 
class people may smoke to some slight extent. 

3702. They smoke madat P-I do not know whether it is 
madat or chaudu ; I do not know the composition. 

3703. I believe madat is smoked in an ordinarv pipe like 
tobacco ?— I do not know ; I see it so little ; one does not 
come across it. 

371)4. After all your experience do von think that the 
opium habit is an innocuous liabit iu India ?— I believe the 
moderate u.se of opium to be quite an innocuous habit. 

3705. In your district do you consider that on the whole 
the use of opium does the people more good than if they 



MINUTKS OF EVIDENCE. 



85 



did not tise it ?— I believe in a large number of cases it does, 
essentially. 

3706. Do you think that without it the public health 
would suffer P — I think it would deteriorate if they did not 
use it. 

3707. Of coarse you recognise that it does produce ill- 
efi'ects when taken in excess ? — I have never been able to 
distinguish between the ill-effects of an excessive use of 
opium and the effects oCthe diseases for which the opium is 
taken. Men are admitted to the jail who are said to be 
excessive eaters and smokers, and they befj for opium, but I 
hiive always found that they were suffering from chronic 
disease. 

3708. You have had medical charge of hospitals and 
jails ? — Yes. 

3709. Have you seen anybody brought to the hospital 
from the results of opium-eating P — Never. I have seen 
them in jails, as 1 have explained, but not in hospitals. 

3710. You have never had any applications for treatment 
for the opium habit p — No. 

37 11 . Was it your practice to cut off the supply of opium- 
eating prisoners P — In nearly all cases the supply was cut 
off immediately. Just as the use of tobacco is prohi- 
bited. 

3712 Did you cut off the supply of opium to the 
prisoners? — In nearly every case. 

3713. Not in all cases? — Not in all. There are 
some cases in which men are admitted with chronic 
diarrhosa and in which I have deemed it wise to continue 
tlie habit, at any rate for a time. 

3714. With regard to the others, do you stop it af 
onceP — In the case of moderate eaters I am in the habit 
of stopp'ng it at once. 

3715. In the case of people who take 10 or 12 or 14 
grains a day you stop it gradually? — I try to let thera 
down gradually. 

3716. Poes that represent the common practice in India 
do you think? — The common practice is to stop it at once 
in the case of moderate eaters. The excessive eaters are 
very few. Perhaps you may come across one case in a 
year in a large jail with 1,800 prisoners. 

3717. Have you seen much suffering from stopping opium 
in the case of prisoners?— Only in those rare cases in which 
shronic diarrhoea exists ; then diarrhoea breaks out and 
causes a certain amount of suffering. 

3718. Sorretimes very sharp suffering in the case of 
these excessive users P — ^Por a short time very considerable 
suffering. 

3719. For a few days, or weeks? — Perhaps a few weeks 
if the opium is stopped suddenly. 

3720. One witness told us that the work done in jail by 
habitual opium-smokers was apt to fall short of what it 
ought to be it the opium was withheld ; have you noticed 
that ? — No, except in these rare cases. 



3721 . May one assuaie that the majority of these Surgn -Maj. 
prisoners would be opium-users? — Yes. B.Cobb, M-J). 

'A722. You agree substantially with what you have g- Nov 1893 
heard?— Yes. ° 1_ 

3723. Have you anything else to add ? — I think that 
sufiBcient stress has not been laid on the use of small 
moderate doses of opium as a dietetic. In the damp climates 
of Eastern Bengal the poor natives are in the habit of 
eating largely of rice, and a peculiar sensitiveness of the 
bowels seems to exist in those damp climates. As a man 
advances in age, digestion fails to some extent, and the 
food is hurried through the intestines. Opium is a remedy 
to prevent this. The effect of hurrying food through 
the intestines is to cause diarrhoea, dysentery and other 
allied affections. Opium in small doses prevents tliis, and 
it is largely used among the poor in Hastern Bengal. 

3724. 'I'hiit seems paradoxical to us medical men from 
England ? — It does. 

3725. You see a distinct difference ? — It is in consequence 
of the large rice meals they take. 

3726. Have you noticed constipation to be a troublesome 
symptom in the case of opium-eaters ? — Not in the 
moderate use. 

3727. When they take their food well ? — When these 
men are advanced in life it helps them to digest their food. 

3728. Are they usually spare and thin P — No. 

3729. You have not noticed any loss of flesh?— Only ia 
the ciise of excessive eaters; in which disease may have 
equally had something to do with the spareness. 

3730. Have you anything else to say P - 1 do not think 
that any restriction can be placed on the use of opium. 
Indeed, I think it shonld he distiibuled more widely. The 
Government of Bengal lately sent quinine to all parts of 
the country through the post offices, and I think it would 
be a good thing if opium were sent in a. similar way and 
distributed with equal facility. 

3731. You have had no experience of madat-smoking ? — 
No ; very little. 

3732. {Mr. Pease.) Is there any public feeling in Dacca 
on the subject of opium consumption— any feeling averse 
to the practice ? — No, except with regard to these smokers, 
and they are not much thought of. 

3733. Were you in Dacca in the spring of 1892 ?— 
No, I was not. 

3734. You cannot give me any information with regard 
to a meeting that was held there at that time at which re- 
solutions were passed strongly adverse to the opium 
trade r — No. 

3735. (Mr. Wilson.) You have been speaking chiefly 
about opium-eating p — Yes. 

3736. A question was put to you about prisoners who 
had been in the habit of opium-smoking ; perhaps that was 
only a slip, and you spoke generally about eating p — Yes; 
I had seen one or two cases of opium-smoking. 

3737. But what you have said about prisoners referred 
principally to eating P — Yes. 



The witness withdrew. 
Subseon-Captain J. H. Tttll Walsh called in and examined. 



3738. {Chairman.) I think your experience with regard 
to the use of opium has been confined to the Lower Pro- 
vinces ?— Almost entirely as Civil Surgeon of Puri, 
which is a largedistiict in Oiissa, as Health Officer of that 
district, and as Medical Officer of the Presidency Jail here, 
and of' the Jail in Puri ; tliat has been principally where 
my experience has been, apai-t from such use of opium as 
is made regimentally, among transport coolies and the like. 

3739. I believe your experience has been that opium is 
largely consumed ? — ^I believe it to be largely con.sumed ; 1 
know it from my experience to be very considerably con- 
gamed. 

I have seen in Puri itself, which is yearly filled by a 
large number of pilgrims, lakhs of people; and being 
Health Officer in charge under the Lodging-house Act, and 
havino- personally examined all these places, I say without 
hesitation that among these persons opium is freely used. 

3740. (Mr. Wilson.) What are they ?— The principal in- 
habitants of the Piovince of Orissa are Ooryas. 

3741. (Chairman.) Have you seen any ill-effects from the 
moderate use of opium p— From the moderate use I have 
never seen any. 

3742. What have yon observed in regard to the ex- 
cessive use p— It has been stated to me that certain 



persons admitted into the jails in an emaciated condition 
are excessive opiam-eaters, but I am utterly nnable to say 
from any symptoms that I have seen that the man has been 
suffering from opium-eating rather than from starvation. 
I do not believe it possible for any one to distinguish an 
excessive opium-eater. 

3743. Have you ever made a post-mortem examination 
of an excessive opium-eater?— I have made several in jails 
of persons who have been said to be opium-eaters, but I have 
had no knowledge on the subject, and I say further that 
such knowledge is impossible except from the statements 
that are made. 

3744. There is a great contrast in that respect between 
alcohol and opium?— Distinctly. There is no such 
degeneration in any organ of the body as is seen in the 
case of alcohol. There is a certain amount of congestion 
of the vessels of the brain with its concomitant reactions, 
nothing further, but that is from poisonous doses, audit is 
only a temporary, not a permanent lesion. 

3745. It appears that apprenticeship to the opium habit 
is very much like apprenticeship to smoking? — Very 
much indeed. 

3746. For what purpose do you think people u.suallv 
begin the habit P — I think partly from the tradition that 
opium is useful for disease, which they find to he confirmed 



Surgn.-Capt. 

J. S. T. 

Walsh. 



86 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



Surgn.-Capt. 
J. E. T. 

Walsh. 

25 Nov. 1893, 



by experience ; also partly from social habit. Persons 
who take opium find enjoyable effects from it, and it be- 
comes a use amongst them as wine does amonsst other 
people. Then in India, where the standard of health is 
always low, even for the most healthy, it is used to com- 
bat various pains, aches, and diseases. 

3747. You mean chiefly in malarial districts ? — Not only 
there, but very largely among the people ; without any pres- 
cription from the doctor. A man takes opium because it 
is triiditionally good for disease, and the tradition is borne 
out by experience. 

3748. Have you noticed the practice of giving opium to 
infants p — I have no absolute instances to bring forward, 
and I can only repeat what is the general opinion as to the 
custom. It is stated by the natives themselves, and I 
agree entirely with Dr. Crombie on tlie subject that it is a 
common practice among motliers, and that it extends to 
European children who are nursed by ayahs, much to their 
injury. 

3749. It is injurious when given to a European child ? — 
I take it that large doses would be injurious, but I have no 
personal knowledge on the subject ; I simply say that a 
large dose would be injurious to any child not accustomed 
to it. 

3750. Have you had any experience of the effect of 
malarial disease in the district of Dacca P — I know 
nothing at all about the Dacca district. 

3751. In Orissa p — Certainly. 1 was in charge of the 
large native hospital in Puri, and as Civil Surgeon I had 
to direct the energies of my assistants in the smaller dis- 
pensaries throughout the district. 

3752. Did yon find cases of enlarged spleen P — Yes, but 
fevers accompanied by enlarged spleens are not so common 
as the type of fever not so accompanied. 

3753. There is more than one type ?— 1 believe there are 
two distinct diseases which have got muddled up under the 
head of "malaria." 

3754. You have not encountered these enlarged spleens in 
infants?— Not actually in infants, but in very young 
children. 

3755. Two or three years old ? — From one to four or five. 

3756. Do you attribute that to malarial influence ? — 
Always. 

3757. Do you agree with the evidence we have heard ? — 
Yes, generally. 

3758. You think that to cut off tlie supply of opium to the 
people of these districts would do more harm than good? 
— I think distinctly it would do more harm than good. 

3759. Have you any further information that you would 
like to lay before the Commission p — I ai;ree entirely with 
Dr. Cobb in his explanation of the dietetic use of opium. 
The diet of the native of India is to stiirt with most indigest- 
ble and productive of a loose form of fmces. I thiak"that 



opium would probably prevent their suffering from diarrhcea 
produced by unwiiolesome dietary articles which from their 
poverty they are obliged to eat. There are some forms of 
rice which the natives would tell yon at once are bad be- 
cause they produce diarrhcea, but the poor man is obliged to 
cat them because he can get no other. With regard to the 
fact of opium being easily obtainable, it must have occurred 
to evei'y Civil Surgeon to have opium sent to him by the 
Magistrate of the district in which he has lived, as confis- 
cated, that he may see 'whether it is fit for human use. 
Of course it always is. It is generally adulterated with 
sugar, and sometimes with lime. Although I have been 
Civil Surgeon only a short time in the district, on eight or 
ten occasions large lumps of opium, as big as one's fist, have 
been confiscated and sent to me to state whether I consi- 
dered that they veere fit for human use or not. Having 
stated that they were, I returned them. It is quite easy to 
obtain opium; and any attempt at a preventive service 
when dealing with those who, so far from preventing would 
assist people to attain it would be a more waste of time, 

3760. {Mr. Wilson.) You are aware that opium is a 
much higher price in Orissa than in other places ? — I am not 
aware of it. 

3761. Do you consider that Orissa is a very malarious 
district ? — In paits, but there are parts that are extremely 
healthy. You can obtain evidence of its malarial condition 
from the Sanitary Commissioner, who ten mouths ago 
presented a special report on the subject. 

3762. Some parts are healthy and some bad ? — Yes. 
It is more or less due to geological distribution. The 
hilly north-west portioES are not malarious. 

3763. Do you agree with the opinion th at has been express- 
ed that where people are very poor and have great difficulty 
in getting food opium helps them p — It helps them to bear 
up. Que must admit that it would befar betterif they would 
buy more food and no opium. But we know what human 
nature is. I think that opium does hold them over their 
difficulties, both as regards disease and as regards the in- 
digestibility of the common food they have to buv. 

3764. You mentioned particularly Puri ; where is that? — 
It is one of the most sacred cities iu India ; and it contains 
the second largest Hindu Juggernauth Temple. 

3765. Is the town a healthy place p— The town itself is 
particularly unhealthy. It is kept away from the sea breeze 
by high banks and by the European quarter. During the 
rains the greater part of it is under water. 

3766. Are the people poor P — Not very poor, except in 
certain confined districts. They make a very rich living 
out of the pilgrims who visit the place. The pilgrim is 
often poor when he gets there, and poorer when he goes 
away. 

3767. Do you know wliat is the death-rate ?— I 
ought to know perfectly well as I have written reports on 
it, but I cannot carry it in my head. 



The witness withdrew. 



Surgit.-Lt.- 

Col. Crombie, 

M.B. 



SuEGEON-LiEUTENANT-CoLONEL Cbombie, M.D., recalled. 



3768. {Chairman.) I believe you wish to make a state- 
ment ?^I wish to explain what I meant when I alluded to 
the stopping of the manufacture of chandu and madat. I 
was asked if I would advocate the stopping of the manu- 
facture of madat and chandu. I wish to say I am not 
here to advocate any policy. I merely express an opinion 
as to the comparative deleteriousness of certain ways of 
using opium. When I expressed an opiniou as to the clos- 



ing of those places of manufacture it had reference to the 
one thing which is consta\itly in my mind, that is, that the 
subject of opium is inextricaoly mixed up with that of 
alcohol. If you can close a number of chandu shops witli- 
out increasing the cousnmption of alcohol, I would do so ; 
but if there is a doubt that they would take to alcohol 
instead of opmm, I would say, leave them alone. 



Mr. .J. Q. 

Alexander, 
L.L.B. 



Mb. Joseph G. Alexandee, LL.B., recalled. 



3769. (LordBrassey.) I believe yon wish to make a state- 
ment? — I observe from the evidence given this morning by 
Dr. Harvey that in my cross-examination I failed to note an 
important distinction between the suggestions put to me 
by Sir James Lyall and those put forward by our Society 
in paragraph 9 of its general memorial to Lord Kiraberley, 
and thus appeared to accept Sir Jame.s Ly all's views as to 



our proposals. We have never urged that opium should 
be sold only on medical certitioMte, which should be going 
much beyond the law at present in force in the United 
Kmgdom. Our proposal is that the sale of the drug should, 
m India as in England, be entrusted to responsible and 
qualified persons, with the additional provision that these 
persons should have no interest in the sale of the dru". 



Adjourned to Tuesday next at 10-30. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



87 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Buildings, Calcutta. 



FOURTEENTH DAY- 

Tuesday, 28th November 1893. 



PEE SENT : 



SiK VS'ILLIAM ROBERTS, M.D. (in the Chaib). 



The Eight Honoueablb Lord Bbasset, K.C.B. 
Sia James B. Lyall, G.O.I.E., K.C.8.I. 
Me. K. G. C. Mowbbat, M.P. 
,, A. U. Fanshawb. 



Me. Aethub Pease. 

Haeidas Vbhaeidas Dbsai. 
„ H. J. Wilson, M.P. 

Me. J. Peescott Hbwett, C.I.E., Secretary. 



Dr. Kailas Chundee Bosb called in and examined. 



3770. {Chairman.) I believe you are President of the 
Calcutta Medical Society ?— I am. 

3771. Are you officially connected with the Government? 
— ^I am an independent practitioner. 

3772. Are you engaged in private practice in Calcutta ? 
—Yes. 

3773. What opportunities have you had of studying 
the effects of the opium habit?— I have been practising 
here, in Calcutta, for upwards of eij^hteen years. I have 
practised mostly among the people of RHJputana, the 
North-West-Provinoes, the Central Provinces, and Bom- 
bay and Madras. I also pay professional visits to Burmese 
and Chinese people stopping here, in Calcutta. These men 
are more or less addicted to the use of opium, 

3774. How far does your experience lead you to con- 
sider that the opium hafat previiils amongst your oauutry- 
men here ? — Amongst the permanent residents of Calcutta 
only 10 per cent, of the ppople actually take opium, whilst 
amongst those who come from other portions of the 
country, nearly 20 per cent, use opium in some shape 
or other. 

3775. So that the practice is very generally diSused 
among adults P— Yes, they commence it after a definite period 
of their adult lives,— probably after they have attained 
the age of 35 or 36. But such is not the rule of the 
people" of Rajputana, thpy practise the habit at a compara- 
tively early age. In the lying-in room pillules are given 
into the mouths of new-born babies. 

3776. What is the result of your experience which seems 
to have been ccmsideiable, as to the effects on the health 
and physical state ?— Opium does not have any deleterious 
influences upon the health of habitual consumers. On the 
contrary, it is a prop to old age, and elderly men pull weU 
under its influences. 

3777. What would you call a moderate quantity of 
opium?— From 2 to 10 grains I would call a moderate 
use. 

3778. Is there a tendency to increase the dose? — Not 
the slightest tendency, except in exceptional cases. 

3779. Have you noticed that it had any deteriorating 
eEFect upon their moral characters ?— They do not manifest 
any symptoms of demoralisation. On the contrary, they 
are harmless people. 

3780. Have you anything to say with regard to their 
mental axjuteness nnd intelligence ?— It does not deteriorate 
the intellect of the habitual consumers ; on the contrary, 
I should say it acts as a stimulant to their brains. The 
Marwaris, who are noted for opium-eating, are the most 
intelligent class of merchants in India. 

3781. May I take it that you are speaking from an 
intimate personal knowledge of the lives of those gentle- 
men who use opium habitually ?— I am. 

3782. You have an amount of intimate personal know- 
ledge which is scarcely within the reach of a European ? — 
Exactly so. 



Dr. 

Kailai 

Chunder 

JBose. 



3783. No doubt you have seen cases of the excessive 
use of opium p — I have seen cases of the excessive use 
of opinm — excessive according to my estimation of the 
dose of the drug, not according to their estimation. I have 28 Nnv. 1 893, 

seen a religious mendicant in my presence take about 

Rs. 3 as. 8 worth of opium. That would be 11 or 12 tolas 

of crude opium. If you do not donbt my veracity, I may 
tell you that he is a perfect model of health and Vigour; 
he can walk for miles together without being tired. 

3784. You consider that to be an instance of high 
tolerance for opium ? — Yes. 

3785. Have you seen injurious effects from opium-eating? 
— I have not yet been able to trace out any injurious or de- 
leterious effect of opium upon the habitual eaters ; especially 
in the ease of my patients, although they are addicted to 
this vice, if you call it so : I have never seen any 
injurious effect upon the constitution, 

3786. Do you consider that there is a higher tolerance 
for opium among the Marwaris than amongst the Hindu 
population ? — I do not think so. 

3787. What is your opinion as to the effect of opium 
as a popular remedy in malarious districts against the 
various ailments of those districts ? — Opium and its pre- 
parations are powerful antidotes against malarious fever. 
I have had some experience in the matter, and if you 
permit me, I will describe it to you. During the autumn 
every year, people come down from the Tarai, — from the 
Darjeeling bills, with malarious fever, and enlarged 
spleens. They say that because they did not abide by the 
instructions of the opium-eaters they contracted the disease. 
The opium-eaters in that place are notably a healthy 
class of people, 

3788. They are not so liable to enlarged spleens ? — No. 

3789. What is your impression of the way in which 
the opium habit is generally begun, what induces people to 
take to it P — On inquiry from patients who have contracted 
the habit, we find they are almost certain to say that 
they took it for some physical infirmities — for rheumatic 
pains, rheumatism or chronic bronchitis. 1 do not believe 
this statement ; the habit is a fashion ; opium is used as a 
luxury by the people. 

3790. You mean much as we take tobacco or wine ? — 
Exactly so. 

3791. But there is of course an additional incentive in 
cases of the opium habit in the way of beginning ; because 
opium is an anodyne and hypnotic, and wine and tobacco 
have not that medicinal effect? — I should consider opium 
at the commencement may exert a stimulating effect upon 
the constitution of the people, and that is the reason why 
they take to the habit. 

S792. We may assume from your observation, that in 
the habitual opium-eater, the hypnotic effect does not ap. 
pear p — Sometimes it appears, because the hypnotic effect 
of opinm lias been moderate, the man pcssessing his 
faculties and energies in first-rate order. Still there is a 
tendency towards sleep, in some cases 1 have observed it, 
especially in elderly people. 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION: 



Dr. 3793. Do yon regard that as unfavourable p— No, it 

Kailas does not injure the health ; the man can be roused in a 
Chunder moment. 

' 3794. Of course you cannot test tlie anod^'ne property 

28 Nov. 1893. unless there is paiu for it to quell ?— That is so. 

3795. What has been yonr experience with regard to 
opium-smoking preparations ? — There are two m-'thods 
of smoliing opium, one is called madat, and the otlier is 
called chandu. The madat is generallj' taken by the lower 
class of people, Hindus and Malinmedans ; whilst 
chandu is generally taken by the compuratively higher 
class of men. Only a nominal percentage of the permanent 
residents of Calcutta take chandu. Opium-smoking does 
not interfere with the process of healino; of wounds. I liave 
performed serious surgical operations up<m chandu-sumkers 
with the most satisfactory results. Amonsist the people of 

^ Bengal, however, opium-smoking has a tendency to deterior- 

ate the health to a certain extent. Upon close observ- 
ation, I have come to this conclusion. As I hiive said 
before, opium-smokers behiny- to the low class of people, not 
blest with a convenient share of prosperity. They ijave 
only one scanty meal, and they generally employ their time 
in preparing the opium stuff, and they neglect their food. 
That is the only reason why their dei'ay is so notably 
mai'ked in their appearance. 'I'he Chinese who take to 
opiiim-sinoking at a onmiiaratively early age, do not suffer 
from any such premature decay, 

3796. Reverting for a moment to opium-eating, have you 
observed whetlier habitual opium-eaters if they become poor 
suffer in health in any way, can you say that it is from the 
opium habit, and not merely from poverty P —No. 

3797. Have you any further observations that you would 
like to make with regard to the etleot of opium upon the 
health and the mental and the mural character of opium- 
eaters ? — Opium-eaters are generally a quiet sort of people, 
and even wlien they take opium in very larjje quantities, 
they are still a peaceful class of citizens. Opium is in no 
way destructive to its consumers; it is perfectly inoffensive 
to their friends, they are less prone to criminal ofiences. 
Altogether opium-eaters, as a rule, are a peaceful class of 
citizens. 

3798. There are some quesitions yon might ans;iver as a 
simple citizen. Do you consider that the people of this 
country would view prohibitive measures with regard to 
the growth of the poppy with satisfaction or approval ? — 
It would simply create dissatisfaction. The poppy is taken 
by some class of people as a vegetable, and they prepare 
curries and chutnies out of poppy capsules. The people of 
Marwar are known to lake green ymmg poppy plants as an 
article of food. I have seen people livinjj in Calcutta take 
cu''ries prepared from opium capsules. Those capsules they 
procui'e from their own gardens. They cultivate po}tpy 
capsules simply for the purpose of making curries. He- 
sides this, tiie poppy is generally used by people of all 
classes in Bengal. Poppy-oil is extensively used in this 
country by confectioners, and it is also used as an ingredient 
of green and white paint. The poppy is now extensively 
grown in every part of the country. You might see a few 
pl.ants in the Calcutta gardens ; but here they are planted 
for the purpose of bearing beautiful flowers. 

3799. H;ive you anything further you wish to say on the 
subject P — There are one or two things 1 sh(mld like to 
fay with regard to prohibitive Cieasures. I do not think 
prohibitive measures are at all needed in this Cduntry. If 
prohibitive measures were to be adopted at all, it would 
simply encourau'e smuggling and the surreptitious cultiva- 
tiun of the poppr. JMotwithstanding ihe seveiityofthe 
law and the vigilant eye with which the officials connected 
with the Opium Department take care that the Ait should 
not be contravened, sniugj;ling is of daily occurrence. I 
have seen people at Burra Bazar get their da'ly supply 
from their own native places, as well as onium-, which 
comes into Calcutta quite surreptitiously fiom Malwa. Most 
of the gentlemen jirefer .Malwa opium to Bengal opium. 
I do not think that pi ohibitive measures would be eft'i c- 
tive ; and be.sides that, they are not needed. Opium, of 
course, is a social necessary and is indispensable in receiving 
i:oblos, chiefs and men of lank among the Rajputs, 
both Mahomedans and Hindus, and the people of Alimeda- 
bad and Snrat. I know of an instance where a maund 
and a half of opium was consnmedin celebrating the funeral 
ceremony of a modeiately rich old num. I'he process of wel- 
coming guests with opium, either in the form of a decoction 
or high seentfid extracts, is culled Kusumba. ')pium is not 
ri'stiioted to men only : it is also yiven to domestic animals, 
bulls, camels, and horses. 'I'he Kutch peo|ile use it largely 
in their stables ; they give it to their horses simply to make 
them strong. 



3800. Ij that from your personal knowledge ? — I have 
received information from some friends who came from 
Kutch, and I have also seen it recorded in a book. 

3801. We have heard something about opium being used 
as an aphrodisiac : you know, no doubt, as a highly edu- 
cated D)edioal man that in modern medicine we .scarcely 
recognise the exisience of any special sub^tanoe which acts 
as an aphrodisiac P — I do not believe that it possesses any 
aphrodisiac powers, neither do the people of Malwa take 
it for that purpose. 

3802. You do not think it is taken for that purpose, 
so far as your own experience is concerned P — I do not 
think so. 

3803. {Mr. Wilson.) Would you tell us^ whether the 
greater part of your evidence relates to smoking or to eat- 
ing or to drinking opium ? — Different sets of people 
observe different modes of taking opium. Some prefer to 
take it in the form of crude opium ; whilst others prefer to 
make extracts out of it. They have got separate formuiffi 
for preparing it and mixing it with saffron, musk, and 
camphor and other ingredients to make boluses or pills. 
Others prefer to take it in the form of a pure decoction. 
I have seen some of the .Vlarwaris take poppy capsules, soak 
them in hot water, and then strain and drink the fluid. 

3804. I asked you whether the greater part of your evi- 
dence referred to smoking or eatmg or drinking P— Opium- 
eating and drinking more particulaily. 

3805. Is it your opinion that the consumption of opium 
has been daily increasing ? — It is. 

3806. Do you regard that with satisfaction ? — Yes, 

3807. You are glad that it is increasing ?— I should say 
that, because I know that opium acts as an antidote to many 
diseases ; it acts as a stimulant, and it wards off the depress- 
ing effect of an Indian climate, especially in the lower part 
of Bengal, where people are so subject to malarious lever 
and asthma. 

3808. Would you be glad to see the general consumption 
doubled? — Of coarse I do not like to go so far as to say 
the usual quantity should be doubled. I should allow it to 
patients in a hospital ; and if I could introduce the system 
into jaiN, I would do so. I think it would be economical, 
as the people would be able to work better under its in- 
fluence. 

3809. Do you consider that the abuse of opium is not in 
the least destructive to its consumers P — By abuse I mean 
when opium is taken in immodeiate quantities— more than 
20 giains. I know people who take one tola of opium every 
day, — some of the higher class men, and they are still healthy 
and quite peaceful. Cne tola would be more than 200 
grains. 

3810. In your opinion does opium-smokinET shorten life P 
— This much I can say, that the .Marwaris, who are habitual 
opium-eaters, and who consume opium in some shape or 
another, live longer than the abstemious Bengali gentlemen. 

3811. Is it your opinion that opium-smoking does not in 
the least interfere with society P — That is my opinion. 

3812. I believe you have performed serious surgical opera* 
tious on chandu-smokersP — I have. 

3813. Do you recommend alcohol for dietetic purposes p— 
Certainly not. Alcohol is decidedly more injurious than 
opium. I have some special arguments ai^ainst the use of 
alcohol and the introduction of alcohol into this country. 

3814. I am afraid you do not understand my question. 
My question was, do you recommend alcohol in the form of 
beer or wine or spirits for daily dietetic use p - I do not. 

3815. Have yon any Europeans amongst your patients ? 
— I have Eurasians, no Europeans. 

3816. Do you recommend opium to them for daily diet- 
etic use P — No, I do not recommend it, unless it is ui gently 
required for medicinal purpos-es, for some special disease, 
for neuralgia, or something like that, to relieve the pa- 
tient of pain and suffering. I do not recomn end it other- 
wise. 

3817. As far as you know, may I take it that the uni- 
versal conviction of educated medical men is that for 
Europeans opium is not desirable for dietetic purposes ? — I 
am prepared to say that opium taken for dieietio purposes 
exercises no deleterious effect upon the health of the people. 

3818. My question was whether in your opinion medical 
men do recommend opium for daily dietetic u.se for their 
patients'? — Mot unless it is ur-ently needi d. If a Knropean 
patient were to consult me about liis living in a marshy 
place, I should at once reoommeud him co use small doses 
of opium daily. 



MIKUTES OP EVIDENCE. 



89 



3819. Would you consider tliat a mpJical mau wlio did 
recommend the regular dietetic use of opium was doing a 
very evil thinj; for liis patient p— It depends entirely upon 
the discretion of the mediciil man who recommended it. If 
he thouglit it were indispensably necessary for the liealth 
and well-being of his patients, he would be perfectly .iustiKed 
m recomnieniling it. As a medical opinion I should say 
liiat a medical mnn ought to recommend opium, or rather 
prefer opium to wine or alcohol as a dieteotic tiling. 

3820. Did you ever know a medical man who did recom- 
mend it so p— No. 

3821. You never did it yourself? — No. 

3822. I think you siiid you regarded opium as a stimulant ? 
— Yes, to a certain extent : not alwajs. 

3823. lu that sense jon would compare it in some degree 
with aleoho\ ?— As far as the stimulating effect goes I 
should say we can compai-e it with the stimulnting effect 
of alcohol, but we ciuinot compare it as far as the physiolo- 
gical action is concerned. Alooliol, ofcourse, exercises a dele- 
terious effeit uj on the health of the people who drink it. 
The intoxicxtion of alcohol is prolonged wliilst that of 
opium is only tiansitory. 

3824. I suppose you have seen a great deal of 
malaria p — Yes. 

3825. Have you ever prescribed opium alone as a cure for 
malaria P — I have not- -not crude opium. 

3826. If you had a piitient who was accustomed to take 
opium reguliiily you would have to prescribe him « much 
larger dose, would jou nt, to produce the effect you 
desired? — No, not at all. Opium is yiven to relieve pain 
and check diiirrlioea, and when an opium-eater conies to me 
and complains oi diarrhoea I prescribe some other astrin- 
"•ints ; I should not give an increased dose of opium. 

3827. Where a patient hns been accustomed to the con- 
tinuous use of opium, will it nut requiie a larger dose to 
pi oduce a medicinal or curative effect than in the ease of 
a patient who was not accustomed to use it ? — Yes. 

3828. Therefoie the more opium a mi<n tiikes, the larger 
your medicinal doses would have to be p — A medical man 
is required to use discretion. 

3829. If vou were living in a malarious district where 
people do not use opium, would you recommend theni all to 
begin using it in small quantities p — Yes, the poor people : 
I would at once advise them to use opium. 

3830. GeneriiUy P— Yes; generally. 

3831. I think you told us that the Bengidis commonly 
begin the habit after they are thirty-five years old or some- 
thing like that ? — Yes. 

3832. Are persons of that age more liable to mahiria 
than other people?— No. Malaria attacks elderly people us 
well as babies and young people. 

3833. If people take opium as a precaution against 
malaria, I do not understand why they do not begio it 
earlier. Can you explain that P— I cannot explain it. If they 
commence the habit at a comparatively eurly »ge, it will be 
a perfectly safe and wise thing for them to do. 

3j34, If it is usually taken in old age, would not vou 
expect that those more liable to malaria would be the 
greatest consumers P -Not necessarily. It depends upon 
the preference of the individual. If persons know that it 
always succeeds in checking malarious fever, they take it. 

3835. I was not speaking of individuals. Taking the 
people of a district, would you not expect to find that 
where there is most malaria there the mo-t opinm is 
consumed ? — I have no expeiience about malaiious districts. 
I have never been out of Calcutta. I am forty-two years 
old and I only once went out of Calcutta. I therefore 
have no experience. Generally people come from malarious 
districts for treatment, and I consult their views on the 
matter. 

3836. I think you are President of the Calcutta Medical 
Society ?~Yes. 

3837. Can you tell us how many members that Society 
has P — Two hundred. 

3838. Do you know what is the total number of practi- 
tioners according to the European system in Calcutta ?— 
About thiee hundred. 

3839. So that you have a great bulk of them in the 
Society P— Yes. 

384,0 I think you have handed in the supplement to the 
Indian Medical Ganette for July l(-92 as part of your 
evidence ? — Yes. 



3841. You were present wlieu Dr. Crombic read a paper /),.. Dallas 
before the Calcutta Medical Society and a discussion took Chuader 
place on the subject ? — Yes. Scte. 

3842. I find in your speech you are reported to have £8 Nov 1893 
said this : — " Theoretically spenking opium-eating might L_ 

be thought more injurious thau smoking, as the fire 
removes most of the deleterious efi'-cts of the narcotic, 
but practically we find that smi.kers suff'er more" ? - Yes. 

3843. You speak of " deleterious effects." I have not 
gathered from your previous evidence that you thought 
there were jiny deleterinus effects? — No, there iire none, as 
far as I can see from personal observation, liefore that time 
I was under the impression that opium always acted injuri- 
ously upon the human constiiution ; bat since I have com- 
menced piactising amoni,'st the Manvaris 1 have given up 
that idea. In the quotation you have read I simiily re- 
marked thut if opium was thought to act injuriously upon 
the system, opium in the solid form would be more likely 
to do it than Smoking. Smokers are generally a wei.k and 
emaciated class of people, (.m inquiry I have made up my 
mind that these people belong to a low class of filthy men — 
poor indigent beggais, who scaicely get two meals a day. 
When they get accustomed to smoking opium, tliey simply 
spend their time in preparing their nnidat or ohandu ; and 
they neglect the legular liours of their meals. That is 
the reason they get weak and poverty-stricken, 

3844. You used the expression that opium-smokers suf- 
fer more than opium-eaters : I understand you now to say 
that you attribute that not to smoking, but to their general 
poverty? — Yes. But the Chinese who smoke opium con- 
stantly in the form of chandu or niadat — I should say 18 
hours out of the 21 — are not so weak or emaciated as the 
people of Lower Bengal, 

3845. With reference to the physical appearance of the 
madat smoker, I see you said at the meeting I referred 
to: — "His complexion and lips become dark, his limbs 
waste, his face becomes pinched, his abdomen protrudes, 
and his voice iieconies hoarse ?" — Yes. 

3846. I want to be perfectly clear. You practically 
witndraw that now, and you think his condition is owing 
to his being a poor and low class miio ? — I do not withdraw 
that. I have explained later on that that hoarseness is 
brought on by constant smoking, just as the voice of 
ciganttvFmo'ier becomes hoarse by consi ant smoking. It 
is a catarrhal condition of the vocal chords induced by 
constant smoking, 

3847. I do not quite understand yet whether you think 
opitm-smoking does the man any harm or not ? — I say 
emphatically it does no harm. 

3848. You referred to the chandu-smokers of China. 
Have you been in China? — No ; I stated what I knew of 
the chandu-smokers from China who have come down 
to Calcutta lor trading. They are dealers in precious 
stones. They brinof stones from Siam and settle in the 
ColootoUa section of the town. 

3849. Further on you said: — "The hypnotic effect ir 
" more or less seen in all persons who take opium in what- 
" ever form and in whatever doses. However active and 
" muscular the opium-eater may be, he is apt to yield to 
" its hypnotic effect, and is drowsy at times ? " — That is so. 

3850. Further on you said . — '' During the last epidemic 
of influenza oidum-eaters suffered most severely, and some 
succumbed to the disease." I suppose that was so ? — Yes. 

3851. You referred towards the end of your speech 
to the question of taking morphia, and you mentioned 
some cases where morphia had been taken in considerable 
quantities habitually P — Yes. 

3852. Do I understand that you quote that with any de- 
gree of approval? — No. 

3853. You referred to a certain maharaja who took a 
large quantity every day, aud also to a pleader in one of 
the courts? — Yes, he took an enormous quantity of mor- 
phia. I condemn the habit of taking morphia to such an 
inordinate extent as 90 grains. 

3854. There is no condemnation of it in this speech of 
yours ; but I suppose you do condemn it ? — I condemn 
the habit. Taking 90 grains daiiy is an expensive habit. 

3855. (Mr. Mowbray.) You told us that you think the 
consumption of opium is increasing ? — Yes. 

3856. Is that increase among people over thirty-five. 
or do you think there is a tendency for a larger number of 
people to take it at an earlier age ?— Diabetes of late has 
increased in Calcutta to an inordinate extent, and people 
are addicted to the use of opium as a preventative measure 
against diabetes. The number of them is daily increasing, I 

M 



90 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



Dr. Kai'las 

C/iunder 
Sose. 

28 Nov. 1893. 



cannot give you a eorreot estimate of the percentage of men, 
but so far as my personal observation goes, I can say that 
the habit of opium-takiug has been daily increasiog, at 
least in this portion of the country. 

3857. And as far as I understand for medical reasons ?— Yes. 

3858. (Mr. Haridas Veharidas.) You have said that 
the people of Kutch generally give opium to their horses 
to make them strong. Where is Kutch ? — Kutch is just 
below Gujarat. The people who come from Kutch are 
called Chulias. 

8859. Is the Kutch you mean near Sind? — Yes. 

3860. {Mr. Fanshavie.) There is one point I should like 
to make clear. In speaking of the opium habit being ac- 
quired later in life, are you referring to its use as a stimu- 
lant, or to its use ia connection with malaria? — As a sti- 
mulant. That is the purpose for which people take to it 
after a definite period of their lives. 

3861. I suppose you admit that madat can be smoked 
in excess P — No. 

3862. Is there no such thing as smoking in excess P — No. 
3868. It has not come within your observation p — No. 

3864 (Mr. Wilson.) How many medical papers are there 
published iu Calcutta ? — There is the Indian Medical 



Oazette, and very recently another was started, called the 
Medical Beoord. There are only those two. 

8865. Are there any other medical papers in other partn 
of India ? — In Bombay we have the Bombay Medical 
News ; and in Madras we have another paper. In Calcutta 
there are only two. 

8866. Do both these papers discuss the opium ques- 
tion ? — I do not know. 

3867. Can you refer us to any Indian medical authorities — 
text-books used in the medical schools in which your views 
on opium are stated as authoritative by the writers p— 
No. The authorities mostly live in Europe, and they [have 
no personal knowledge or observation about the opium habit 
in India. The books written are founded on the physiolo- 
gical effects the writers have observed in their own 
countries. I must say — and I am sorry to have to say— that 
my views are not supported by medical authorities at home. 
There is Dr. Christison, however, who does not condemn the 
opium habit so largely. I am sorry to say I am not sup- 
ported by the medical authorities abroad. 

3868. Is there such a book as Chevers' Medical Juris- 
prudence P — Yes. 

3869. Is not that entirely Indian ?— Partly Indian. 

3870. Does that support your views ? — No. 



The witness withdrew. 



Dr Juggo 
Sdndo Base. 



Dr. Juaao Bctndo Bose called in and examined. 



an independent 
in Government 
an independent 



3871. (Chairman.) You are, I believe, 
medical practitioner iu Calcutta ? — I was 
service for nearly 25 years. Now I am 
practitioner. 

3872. What opportunities have you had of study- 
ing the effects of the opium habit in this neighbonrhood or 
elsewhere P — As a teacher in the Campbell Medical School, 
I had charge of the second physician's ward, and there I 
had ample opportunities of studying the effects of 
opium taken in moderate doses by the patients. Then I 
had a very larjje practice among tlie Chinese, and there of 
course I had ample opportunities of studyino; chandu-sniok- 
ing. My native place is a malarious district. I go there 
almost every year, and there I have had ample opportuni- 
ties of observing the effects of opium in malarial complaints. 
I have also had a pretty large practice iu Calcutta for nearly 
40 years ; and there, too, I have had ample opportunities of 
studying the effects of opium. 

3873. What convictions have grown in your mind 
with regard to the opium habit, as to its eff'ects upon 
health and morals p — Opium is generally taken by the 
patients first, not of their own accord, but on advice or of 
necessity. I am now speaking of the people of Lower Ben- 
gal. Then people also take it, because they hear that it has 
a very good effect on certain diseases. If they suffer from 
one of these diseases, they take to the opium habit. But 
independently of these, I do not think the people ot Bengal, 
as a rule, take opium. 

3874. In the "^'^^ °f those who use opium habitually, 
what dose do they get to ? — Generally speaking, as far as 

1 have known those who are called opium-eaters take from 

2 to 6 "rains. That is the general dose among the 
Hindus in this province. The Mahomedans take it in a 
little laru-er dose. The Marwaris, the Eajputs and the 
Sikhs take it even in larger doses. They generally go up 
to 20 grains. Their dose is from 2 to 20 gi-ams. 

3875. Has it any effect upon the general health p— 
I think it keeps the people who use opium moderately in 
very good health. 

3876. Is there a tendency to increase ^ the dose ?— 
Those who have commenced it under the advice of a medi- 
cal man, and those who suffer most from painful diseases 
such as rheumatism, etc., are obliged to increase the dose. 
Some of them increase it a great deal. 

3877. Then there is not much tendency to increase the 
dose in those who take opium as we take tobacco or wine p — 
There is, but not to a very great extent. 

3878. You have seen cases?— Yes, 

3879. When opium is taken in too large quantities, it does 
affect the health I presume?— I have seen a great many 
cases of onium-eaters. Some of them have taken in my pre- 
sence at least 2 bhuries; I think 2| drachms make a 
bhuri. That would be about 5 drachms. 

3880. How many grains would it be P— 300 grains. The 
effects have not been very bad. I knew a singer, who after 
singing for 3 or 4 hours, would take 2 bhuries of opium 
it once, and then would go on singing again, keeping accu- 
rately to time and tune. 



3881. Do you think that habitiial opium-eaters live as 
long as anybody else ? — That is my impression, It has been 
an impression from time immemorial that opium conduces 
to longevity and to the preservation of health. This impres- 
sion was created by the kabirajis. 

3882. Have you come to any conclusion as to whether 
it is a protective in any way, or a help to people suffering 
from malarial complaints? — I consider it to be a sovereign 
remedy for malarial diseases such as fever, malarial 
cachexia, and all other malarial complaints which people suffer 
from. It relieves also pains and aches, rheumatism, asthma, 
and bowel complaints. For all these diseases it is a sover- 
eign remedy, and that is the reason why the people take 
to it. It is also good for chronic coughs and consumption. 
It retards the progress of consumption. 

3883. We may take it that your experience is that habi- 
tual users of opium are not morally deteriorated P — Not in the 
least. On the contrary, it sharpens the intellect and fortifies 
the mind. With alcoholic drunkards the case is different. 
Their brains are muddled. Opium-eaters will talk for hours 
and keep exactly to the point wlien they begin a subject. 
They are very reasonable. Their judgment and reasoning 
power are in no way affected, even if they take large doses of 
opium. 

3884. Have you seen the effect of opium -eating on the 
poor people P — Yes, I have seen many instances. In my 
country, which is a malarious district, many poor people 
take small doses of opium to keep oB the eff'ects of mala- 
rial diseases. 

3885. Have you seen any effect indicating that the habit 
leads to any form of crime or lunacy P — No ; opium-eaters 
as a rule do not become criminals. It is the drunk- 
ards whose criminal propensities are strong. It is 
wine which increases the criminal class. Tliey are mur- 
derers ; they do not care for their wives or their children 
or anybody, and they dash them to pieces when they are 
under the influence ot grog. But tlie opium-eater will 
never do anything of the kind. The only harm the opium- 
eater does is to himself. But the drunken man is a great 
nuisance to his family, and to society at large. 

3886. What have you to say to the proportion of adults 
amongst those of your countrymen that you have known 
who eat opium p— I think is about 2 per cent. 

3887. Do you mean 2 per cent, of adults p — Yes, 2 per 
cent, of adults. 

3888. (Mr. Wilson.) Adult males?— Yes, females very 
seldom take it, 

3889. (Chairman.) Do you mean to say only one or two 
in a hundred adult males use opium in the country ? — Yes. 

3890. What about the towns?— In the towns the per- 
centage may he higher among the Hindus and Mahome- 
dans ; it cannot be more than 4 or 5 per cent, 

3891. Have you any suggestion to make as to why 
some take to opium and others do not : what is the 
difference ? — Those who take it, do so either on medical 
advice or of then' own accoi-d wlwn they suffer from any 
painful disease. This is the class of people who take opium 



MINTTTKS OK EVIDENCE. 



91 



most. Then there are others who take opium after they 
attain 36 or 40 years of agOb There is an impression in 
the counti-y that after a man is 40 years of age, if he takes 
opium in moderatu doses, it will conduce to the preserva- 
tion of health and to longevity. Well-to-do people there- 
fore generally take opium after they are 40 years of age. 

3892. Have you any further remarks to make with 
regard to the hahitual use of opium-eating P — I have 
nothing further to say of my own accord, but if I am asked 
any question, I shall be most happy to answer it. 

3898. Do you think if prohibitive measures were car- 
tied out, your countrymen would be willing to contribute 
towards the expense of such measures ? — No. My country- 
men will oppose such measures to the best of their power ; 
they will say : " we will not bear prohibitive measures." 
"Why should they P What have they done P It is a perfectly 
innocent thing for the people to take. It is far better than 
alcohol. It does not incieiise oriiaie, but on the contrary de- 
creases it. Hindus and Mahomedans who take opium, are 
not more criminal than are Englishmen and other Europeans 
who are given to drinking. 

8894. Do you think it is necessary to restrict the free 
sale of opium? — Yes; I think it is very necessary to 
restrict the free sale of opium by the opium vendors in large 
towns, so that it may put a check to the easy accessibility 
of opium for poisoning purposes. 

3895. I presume by thai you mean for the purposes of 
suicide ? — Yes. 

3896. I suppose opium is the favourite mode of suicide ? 
— Not necessarily so : another favourite mode is hanging. 
Opium is one of "the means of suicide. There are various 
means,— drowning, hanging, arsenic poisoning, opium-eating, 
and many others. 

3897. {Lord Brassey.) Do you find it rather difficult 
to give a general opinion as to the effects of opium ? The 
effect of the opium habit, whether the opium is taken in 
solid or liquid form, depends upon the quantity P — Yes, 
it depends entirely upon the quantity. Bat if it is taken 
in the solid form, or, as is generally the case, as an 
infusion in cold water, the effects are not so bad as when 
taken in the form of smoking, as chandu or gooli. 

3898. Am I to understand from you that while a large 
quantity of opium, whether taken in the solid or liquid 
form, does undoubtedly do harm, you do not observe any 
evil effects when taken in moderate quantities ? Is that 
what you wish to tell us p— Opium-smoking in immode- 
rate quantities ceitainly does harm, but I have not observed 
any ill-effects in people who have eaten opium m large doses. 

3899. (Mr. Pease.) You say opium-smoUing always does 
harmP-^That is my conviction. 1 have seen opium-smok- 
ing among the Chinese, Leaving that race out of the 
question, if opium-smoking is taken to by Hindus and 
Mahomedans it generally does harm. _ I do not speak of 
the Chinese. Leaving the Chinese aside, if you only ask 
me what effect opium-smoking has on Hindus and Maho- 
medans, I am bound to say that it does produce very bad 
and serious effects. 

390P You say the opium-eater does harm to himselt, 
but then you say that the effects were not so bad as madat 
and chandu or gooli-smoking. Have you met many 
instances in which opium-eating has done decided harniP 
—If anything does harm, it is the chandu and gooli- 
smoking. That does more harm than opium-eating. Even 
when opium is taken in excess, it does not do so much harm 
as opium-smoking. _ tA■^ 

3901 I think you were comparing the effects ot OrmK- 
ine alcohol and eating opium, and jou said the opium-eater 
dois harm to himself ?-Yes ; the most he will do 
will be to injure his own life, by taking a large 
quantity of opium. He will not be boisterous or quarrel- 
some ; he will not do any harm to anybody except to him- 
self ■ he will only lie down and be quiet ; that is ail. 

3902. In your opinion, I gather it would he better to 
abstain from taking any opium except for medicinal pur- 
poses ?— No ; I would allow people to take it of their own 
accord, as it benefits the health. , . ., 

3903. Would you advise it ?— I would certainly advise it. 

3904 Have you seen many instances of excessive opium- 
eating ?— Yes, I have seen some instances> 

3905 (Mr. Wilson.) Did you hear the evidence that 
was given by Dr. Kailas Chunder Bose P-Yes 

3906 Do you agree substantially with all he said, or 
do vou wish to express any dissent from any part of it ? 
—He spoke about eating opium capsules as a vegetable ; 
I have no experience of that. Poppy seeds are taken m 
the form of condiment, but no capsules or leaves are taken 
by anybody as far as I know. 



3907. Do you agree with his general approval of the j)r. Juggo 
practice of taking opium, and his desire to see it extended ? Bundo Base. 

— Although I would not like to see it extended, I certainly 

agree with him in thinking that opium-taking does not do ^^ Nov. 1 893. 
any harm. 

3908. You think that the use of opium in moderation 
is not demoralizing, and that its effects are not deteriorat- 
ing. I want to have it quite clear whether you consider 
it beneficial P — I certainly consider the moderate use of 
opium to be very beneficial. 

3909. I think you use the expression that it brightens 
the wits and the intellect P — Yes, it does. 

3910. May I ask you whether you take it regularly your- 
self for that purpose p — I am not an opium-eater. I do 
not take opium at all, except when I am advised by other 
medical men. 

3911. I want to know if it brightens our wits and im- 
proves our intellect P — It does. The effect of opium, when 
taken in a moderate dose, is to stimulate the brain. It 
brightens the intellect, and a person can talk and think 
well and devote his attention to a subject very well. 

3912. Would it not be a very good thing for all of us 
to take it P — That depends upon your own choice. I can- 
not Siiy whether it would be a good thing or not. I would 
not like the whole world to be opium-eaters, but I say let 
those who like it, take it. 

3913. If you think it has such a beneficial effect, you 
must think it is a deplorable thing that only 2 per cent, 
of adult males should take it p — It is not so much needed 
when a person enjoys his general health. Although I 
advise peeple to take opium to preserve their health, of 
course I would not advise them to take it regularly for diet. 

3914. You have said you think it very necessary to 
restrict the free sale of opium p — Yes, as it is sold in the 
towns. 

3915. Not in the country p — No ; beea»se there are very 
few people to take opium to poison or kill themselves in the 
counti-y. 

3916. How would you propose to restrict the sale in the 
towns ? — I have not thought over the matter. I leave it 
entirely to the Commission to find the ways and means of 
doing it. With regard to the towns, I think the sales 
should be restricted, and that people should not have easy 
access to opium generally. 

3917. May I ask you whether you are a member of the 
Calcutta Medical Society ? — I am. 

3918. Were you present at that discussion to which I 
referred the last witness p — No, I was not present. 

3919. As a matter of fact, do the doctors prescribe opium 
for malaria, and in malarial fevers? — Yes, I think all the 
doctors that I have known do it. Men prescribe it whom I 
have consulted and together with whom I have seen patients. 
It is even put down in our books, and we were taught, 
when I came out of college, that opium did increase the 
antiperiodio effect of quinine. 

3920. You would not use it alone : you use it to increase 
the effect of quinine p — I use it alone occasionally. 

3921. Can you give us any reason why so small a pro- 
portion as 2 per cent, take opium if they find it is so bene- 
ficial P — Why should they take it P Everyone does not 
take wine because it is very beneficial in moderate doses. 
There are many people who do not touch wine although 
it is a very good thing. 

3932. I understand you to say that you estimate it at 
2 per cent., and they are chiefly the well-to-do classes P — 
Yes ; the rural population of the villages and of the country 
very seldom take it, except when advised by medical men. 

3923. Do you consider the people in the country districts 
more or less liable to malaria than people in the cities? — 
The people in the country are more liable to malarial 
diseases than people who live in towns. 

3924. But they take much less opium p — They take 
much less opium. 

3925. I think you used the term non-medical use of 
opium. Would you explain exactly what you mean by that P 
— I mean the taking of opium by those who have not been 
advised by medical men to do so. It is generally the impres- 
sion in the country that opium does good when a man is 
advanced in years. After he is 40 years of age he com- 
mences to take opium of his own accord. 

3926. Do I understand you to say that very few women 
take opium ? — Yes. Why should they take it unless there 
is a necessity ? 

3927. Are they not equally liable to malaria P — Yes. 

3928. Yet they do not take opium P— No ; they do not 
like it. 

3929. In the case of an opium-eater who might be attacked 

M 2 



92 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



Dr. Juggo 
Bundo Base. 



28 Nov. 1893, 



with dysentery, what would you give him P — I would 
sivf him medicines wliiuli I thought most appropriate in 
his case. You c«nuot pre-ionbi' the same thing in every 
case It would depend upon the sort of d\sentery he was 
sutferins from, l)is seneial health and the stage at which 
he called in the medical man. All these things would have 
to be taken into account. You oanuot treat a patient with- 
out seeing him. 

39:i0. I am sure with your experience you would have 
no difficulty in tflling me two or three principal remedies ? 
— My principal remedies are ipeciicuaiiha, opium, some 
prepa'ations ot' mercnry, and what we call cooichee or the 
bark of Wrightia anti-dysenterica. 

3931. Do tliesB medicines take effect exactly in the same 
way on an opium-eater as upon a man who does not eat 
opium ? — in the case of an opiam-ealer you have to give 
him a larger dose of opium. 

3932. Do you ever give chloroform in cases of dysentery ? — 
I very seldom use it, except for external blistering purposes, 
I do not give chloroform in c ises of dysentery. 

3933. Neither to opium-eaters or others? — No, 

ZQ'i'k. (Mr. Fanshawe) Kindly tell us what experience 
you have had in the country districts. .Most of your medical 
experience has been in Calcutta P — Asa medical practitioner 
I have had very fi-equent occasions to go to Krishnaghar, 

'J he witness 



Di: Surj) 

Comar 

Surhadhi- 

cari . 



Hughli, Burdwan, 24-Parganas and several other dis- 
tricts. I have seen how people in those districts take 
opium, and I know their disposition towards it. 

393-5. Do you admit that liability to malaria varies very 
much in diffeient districts ?— Yes. 

3936. You have expressed an opinion that only about 2 
percent, of the adult population takes opium : you are speak- 
inc K^nerally of the whole Lower Provinces p — Yes, Lovver 
iieligal. 1 say that in the districts of Patna, Ihacjalpur, 
Muishidabad and Gya, opium is much more consumed than 
in the Lower Provinces. 

3937. You stated that 2 per cent, of the adult population 
in your country districts are opium-eaters. Have you founded 
that upon any statistics ." — ^No, not upon any statistics, but 
upon personal experience. 

3938. Would not you admit that it varies very much 
in each district P — Yes. 

3939. [Sir James Lyall.) Dr. Kailas Chunder Bose ex- 
pressed an opinion that opium-eating was increasing very 
much in Calcutta i is that your impression P — No; on the 
contrary 1 think that Opium-smoking, which was veiy 
prev.ilent when 1 commenced medical studies, in the form of 
gooli and madak by Hindus ano MaliOroeJans, has not in- 
creased at all. Of course among the Chinese it is the same 
as it was before. Opium-eating gei.eially speaking among 
the Hindus and Mahouiedans has not increased. 

withdrew. 



Dr. SUBJI COMAB S0EBADHI 

3940. {Chairman,] I think you are a medical practi- 
tioner in this neighbourhood p — Yes. 

3941. You have gone in and out amongst the people 
very largely in the course of your practice ? — YeS, I have. 

3942. And you intimately know their ways and habits p 
—Yes. 

3943. Is the practice of opium-eating very much spread- 
ing in Calcutta? — Tlie practice of opium-eating is conSned 
to persons of advanced years. Atter 36 or 4U, when the 
powers tail, people take opium under advice, as nice, and 
supporting and bracing. It improves their digestion and 
keeps up their vital powers. 

3944. They take it under that impression ? — Yes, they 
take it under that impression. 

394-5. Is it your professional experience that that im- 
pression is correct or incorrect ? — Coirect. 

39i6. How many people alter they are 40 years of age 
do you think take it ? — 4 or 5 per cent, 

3947. So that it is not a very widely spread habit? — No, 
it is not a very widely spread habit. 

3948. Is opium taken as a popular remedy besides that P 
— Yes, for rheumatism. It is very much taken in cases of 
diarrlioea, dysentery, diabetes and asthma. I have liad to 
give it, — not crude npium, but one of tlie active principals 
of opium — narcotiiie, when quinine was scarce. At Shazipur, 
where I was in 1856-7-8-9 when the sepoy mutini' broke 
out, there was a great scarcity, and disease followed in the 
wake of famine. We had a large number of patients in 
our bospital. We had no Euiopean medicines, and we had 
to depend greatly- on indigenous drui^s. Opium was the 
great staple remeuy. We gave curchi and bael, but the 
greatest u.se of opium was in extracting; the narcotine as a 
substitute for quinine. I found it to be of very great use. 

3949. What has been your observation with regard to 
opium being used as a popular remedy with children : is it 
used for children p — No, not m our country, mu- in Bengal, 
but at Ghazipur I have seen mothers giving their infants, 
5 or 6 years of age, small doses of opium. 

3950. What lor? — I suppose to lull them to sleep in 
the first instance, so that they may go to their work, but 
I have not found any bad effect trom it. They grow up 
fine and healthy childieu. 

3951. Used they to give their children little bits of 
crude opium ? — Yes, crude opium . 

3952. To what would it amount ? — It might amount 
to ij'jth of a grain. 

3953. That would not be much more than a couple of 
drops of laudanum ? — No. 

3954. Is it the practice to give it daily P — Yes, in the 
cases I saw they used to give it daily, one dose in the morn- 
ing. 

3955. Taken without the advice of a physician P — They 
have no physician. It is a popular medicme. 

3956. I think you said opium was consumed habitually 
as a protective by persous in malarious districts, as a popular 



CAUi called in and examined, 
medicine to preserve health P — Under the belief that they 
will not have malarious levers. 
39 -)7. As a protective ?-— Yes. 

3958. What dose would be taken for that purpose P — I 
do not think more than a grain. 

3959. A gr.dn once or twice a day ? — Once a day. 

3960. Taken first thing in the morning p — Yes, taken 
first thing in the morning. 

3961. Are you speaking of country parts p — Yes, of 
country parts. 

3962. I do not know the habits of the agricultural 
population : do the men and women turn out early to their 
work in the morning p — iVlen and women both go to the 
fields to work. 

3963. Do the women take this opium as well p — I have 
not known that, but I have known women take opium 
after the age of 35 or 40. 

3964. I was thinking whether they took it as well as 
their husbands as a protective in the morning? — That I uo 
not know. 

3965. Have you seen any ill-effects from the use of 
opium in that way ? — In moderate doses 1 have seen uo 
ill-cHects. 

3966. But you have seen opium taken in excess p — I 
have seen it taken in excess, and with of course evil 
effects. 

3967. What ill-effects have you observed ? — I mean when 
they have takeu more than their habitual dose, they 
weie under narcotic effects. 

3968. Have you sometimes seen that habitual use has 
been carried to excess P^Never. 

3969. In the field of your experience a person that might 
be Called an Opium drunkard is unknown? — I have practi- 
cally not seen any. I have known Eurasian patients who 
have taken laudanum, but they have been veiy few. 

397U. Are they able to control the quantity they take 
with perfect ease ? — I have seen some Eurasians take 
laudanum in lieu of other stimulants, but not with evil 
effects. 

3971. You think that the habit of taking opium, either 
in persous getting on in life or those who take it as 'a pro- 
tective against malaria, affects neither health nor morals P— 
It has not att'ecied their health prejuoicially. 

3972. Has it affected their health favourably ? Yes it 

has. ' 

3973. You have not been able to trace the occurrence of 
crime or lunacy to the opium habit?— iNo, not to the habit 
of eating opium ; but I have to the habit of smoking 
opium, — gooii. 

3974. I think your experience has extended over a period 
of 36 years ? — Yes. 

3975. Uo you think that the habit of smoking opium is 
more prevalent now than it was at that time ?— f think it 
is diminishmg. 

3976. You think it is going out ?— I think it is going out. 



MINUTES OP EVIDENCE. 



93 



3977. I do not know whether it is a fair question to 
ask you : do you hnppen to kuow what the composition of 
madak is? -No, I do nut know. 

3978. So far as your knowledge sroes of the feelings of 
your couritrymen, would they object to pay the yriue 
which miglit be necessary to pay for proliibitive 
measures P — They would object to pay any increased taxation 
in any shape. 

3979. As far as you are concerned, you would not 
approve any steps that mi^ht be taken to diminish the 
cultivation of the poppy and the production of opium? — 
There is no necessity to do so whatever. 

3980. {Mr Pease.) In the statement before us you say — 
" Smoking opium is confined to the very dreg.s of soructy, 
and is "generally looked down upon by tlie respectable 
classes of the community. I had come across some miser- 
able specimens of humanity amoiig4 them. Their lean, 
lanky appearances wire due to want of proper food after 
indulging in the smoke of opium. Having beonme addicted 
to this fcirm of stimulants, and not having sutficient means 
at their command, they otten resort to )>ilfering, and thus 
join the criminal classes and become inmates of prisons." 
Do you think that under these circumstancex the (lovern- 
ment oujjht to give licenses for the sale of madat and 
chandu for the purposes of emoking?— I would certainly 
not advocate the licensing of any system of intoxication 
which would lead to crime and increase the crimiual classes 
and the ill-health of the people. 

3981. Do you know what care is taken at the present 
time as to the character of persons who obtain opium 
licenses, and to the place where the sale takes place ? — I 
do not. 

3983. You state also that the abuse of opium has been 
a prolific source of mischief ? — Yes. 

3983. Will you kindly tell us in what way ? — Opium is 
a sovereign remedy for disease. When it is taken to 
destroy life it is a most terriiile thing. It can be bought 
in any locality here, and suicide has rather been on the 
increase owing to the facility with which opium can be 
bought. I would, therefore, suggest that some sort of 
restriction should be placeii on the sale of opium. I should 
say that persons who are conversant with the habits of the 
people should be entrusted with the sale of opium, so that a 
young boy failing in his examination and taking it into his 
head to get 8 annas and buy opium conld not get it. That 
sort of thing should not happen. Of course nohi^dy can 
help it. They can get it from their servants ; but I think 
the indiscriminate sale of opium should be restricted. 

3984. Ton do not think snfficient care is taken as to the 
persons to whom licinses are given at present? — I do not 
know anything about licenses. I cannot say whether 
gufBcient care is taken. I do not know. 

3985. But you think there ought to be some care as to 
the persons who sell, whether they hold licenses or not p — 
Yes, and that care should be taken as to those persons to 
whom they sell it, 

3986. Do you approve of the places in which it is at 
present sold, — many I believe are withdrawn from public 
observation ?— rl have not seen many. I have seeu them on 
the roadside. 

3987. Have you any further suggestions to make as 
to the restiictions which you suggest should be put upon 
the sale? — It is very difficult to carry out any suggestions. 
What I would like to do would be to entrust the sale of 
opium to men who will be able to use their discretion as 
to whom to sell and to whom not to sell. Of course you 
cannot prohibit people from taking it if they are regular 
opium-eaters. My suggestion is that it should be given 
to men who will be able to use their discretion is. selling 
it to the proper persons. 

3988. You would advise that it should be given to 
persons who had not a direct interest in the increased sale 
of thedrug?— I would, if I could, prohibit all sorts of 
intoxicating things, whether it be opium, ganja, wine or 
anything of that sort ; but it would not be practical to 
exclude opium. It could not be practically carried into 
etfeot ; therefore such suggestions would be valueless. 

3939. I ask whether you would be in favour of giving the 
sale of opium to persons who are notdirectly interested in 
the increased sale of the drug ?— Certainly, I would. 

3990. {Mr. Wilson.) You have referred to Ghazipur ?— 
Yes. 
. 3991. Is there any opinm grown in that district ?— Yes, 



largely ; that is the head-quarters of the Benares Opium J)r. Surji 

Agency. Co'nar 

3992. Is it a malarious district ? — It was not in my time ; ^urhadhi- 
it may be now. cart. 

3993. T« there much consumption of opium now?— There 2S Nnv. 1803 
was a very large consumption while I was there. 

3994. 1 suppose the cultivators probably help themselves 
to a little ? — They may ; but if they do, they preserve 
themselves very well indeed. 

3995. Speahing geneially, do you disagree in any respect 
with the first medical man who came to-day P — I do not 
disagree with him in the main. As regards the minutise, 
I have nut studied them. My general impression is that 
opium is not deleterious when taken under advice or in old 
age. 

3996. The first witness desires to see the consumption 
of Oiiium increased ; ia that your desire also P — My desire 
is that no sort of iutnxicating thing should be used. 

3997. You do not agree with him in that important 
particular P — No. 

3998. You have devoted two or three paragraphs in your 
printed statement to the moriicinal use: you attach great 
importance to that P — Great importance. v 

3999. I suppose von are aware that nobody has ever 
challenged that at all P- So far as I know. 

4000. You are aware that what may be called the anti- 
opium party have always admitted that there must be 
ample supplies for meilicinal purposes? — So much the better. 

4001. Tlierefore you have no necessity to prove what is 
not questioned, I presume? — There is no necessity for me 
to prove it. 

4002. It would shorten your statement very much P — Yes 

4003. (Mr. Mowbray.) I rather gathered from you 
that if you had your way you would prohibit the sale of all 
stimulants ? — Yes. 

4004. Opium, alcrhol and gania p — They are not abso- 
lutely necessary for the preservation of human life or of 
health. 

4005. If you had your way, which would you begin with, 
prohibit the consumption i>f opium or prohibit the consump- 
tion of alcohol or ganja first P — Ganja first and foremost. 

4006. And after ganja, what ? — Alcohol. 

4007. May I take it that you consider opium as a 
stimulant the least harmful ? — Yes. 

4008. Do you consider that if the consutnption of opium 
were put a stop to witlu.ut p'.itting a stop to the consumption 
of alcohol or ganja, there would be any danger of people 
who had taken opinm falling back upon more deleterious 
stimulants P— I believe so. 

4009. (Mr. Fanshawe.) In your printed statement you 
say that suicide by means of opium has considerably 
increased. Are you speaking of Calcutta, or are you speak- 
ing generallj' p - Of the people cf Ualcutta. 

4010. (Sir James Lyull.) When you said that the abuse 
of opium has been a prolific source of mischief, were you 
alluding to suicide or to other kinds of mischief? — To 
suicide, and also to homicide. 

4011. Have you formed that opinion from any statis- 
tics p — No, from my own ob.«ervati<m. 

4012. You said that suicide was increasing inconsequence 
of the facilities for getting opium p — Yes. 

4013. Are the facilities for getting opium greater now 
than they were in former times, or are they less? — 1 
have not the means of knowing. When I speak of the 
facilities of getting opium, I mi an that it can be got at the 
four corners of Bowhazar, Burabazar, and so on. 

4014. I believe that the shops are not more numerous 
now, and that the price is higher than it used to be ? — The 
price is higher. 

4015. Do yon think that if opium was nob so r'eadily 
available, a eeitain number of lives might be saved ? — That 
is my belief. 

4016. (Mr. Wiison.) Do you agree with the witness who 
preceded you in bis statement aa to the effect of opium on 
the mind, sharpening the wits and improving the in- 
tellect P— I have no personal knowledge of that. 

4017. You do not take it for that pui-pose ?— No, I do not 
take it. 

4018. Do yon recommend it to anybody ? — I never 
recommend any kind of stimulant unless it is required 
medicinally. 

4019. Then you do not agree with the Inst witness P— I 
do not. 



The witness withdrew. 



u 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION : 



I)r. MiraLall 
Ohose. 

4020. {Chairman,) I believe you are a medical jiraoti- 

28 Nov. 1893. tioner living in Calcutta? — Yes, I practise in Calcutta and 
the siivrounding districts. 

4021. How many years have you practised? — Thirty 
years. 

4022. Is your experience confined to the neighbourhood 
of Calcutta?— Calcutta and the districts surrounding. 

4023. You have been engaged in your work, going in 
and out amongst the people all these years, so that your 
experience of their habit has been very considerable? — Yes; 
I know many opium-eaters. 

4024. Speaking roughly, what is the proportion of adults 
in your experience who use opium ? — In Calcutta it may 
be from 5 to 10 per cent, amongst the adults above 40 years. 

4025. Are you speaking of adults who use it in the latter 
period of life as a sustainer? — Not only as a sustainer but 
as medicine. Those who are 30 or 35 use it when they 
are ill of some disease, such as rheumatism, dysentery and 
diavrhcea ; they use it medicinally. 

4026. Taking the two classes together, — those who use 
it as a popular medicine and as a preventive of malaria, 
and those who take it as a habit, much as we use to- 
bacco, — they would only amount altogether to 5 or 7 per 
cent. ? — That is so. 

4027. What doses do they usually take? — The average 
quantity would be from 2 to 5 or 8 grains. 

4028. I suppose that is regularly from day to day? — 
Pjom day to day. They come to the dose of 8 giains alter 
using it for some time; they commence with 1 grain, 
then they take 2, 3 or 4, gradually increasing the dose. 

4029. Have many cases fallen under your observation 
where the quantity has been increased to an injurious 
extent ? — I have seen 50 and even 100 grains taken by a 
man. 

4030. And continued ? — ^Continued from day to day. 

4031. For years ? — For years. 

4032. Many years ?— Yes ; they continue it for ten or 
twenty years. 

4033. Then there could not have been much effect upon 
the health p — Yes, there has been a bad effect upon the 
health. 

4034. Still they manage to live on ? — They go on living 
but bad effects are manifested. 

4035. In what way P — In the form of jaundice, enlarged 
liver, dysentery', and diarrhcea. Of course those who are 
well-to-do and can live well do not show the same bad effects 
as those who bare no such means of living. 

4036. Have you observed those effects which you speak of 
from the taking ofexcessive quantities in some of the per- 
sons who are able to live well p — Yes. I may say that I divide 
the use of opium into two classes, the medical use and the 
non-medical use. Fur medical use poor people go to the 
vendors' shop ; they cannot afford to go to the apothecary's 
for a prescription, because they are too poor, and they go to 
the vendors to get cheap medicine to cure their disease. 
With regard to those who take it for the sake of pleasure, 
that is a thing that I deprecate altogether. 

4037. Those who take it medicinally do not consult the 
doctor? — Not always. 

4038- They take it as a domestic remedy p — Yes, there is 
a bad impression amongst them generally, spread from tlieir 
opium-eating friends, that unless, when they are above 40, 
they take opium, they cannot reach the full period of life. 
Such persons take it generally for non-medical purposes. 

4039. Do you believe that there is any truth in that 
theory ?— No- 

4040. When it is taken for that purpose in the after part 
of life you say that the quantity taken is from 2 to 7 
grains P — From 2 to 7 grains, and in some rare cases more. 

4041. Do yon recognise that there is a difference, a con- 
stitutional difference between those people and others ? — 
Yes. The general complaint is costivcness. Whether 
they live well or not, they all complain of costiveness, and 
some of uneasy sensation in the abdomen. For that there 
is a medicine geneially known among Bengal opium-eaters, 
a decoction of the Convolvulus repens, 

4042. I think you said thnt, speaking generally, the 
opium-eating habit under the oonditi'ms that you mention 
does not generally affect the health P— When it is used 



Db. Hiba LiLL Ghosb, called in and examined. 



non-medically when there is no disease there is a deleterious 
effect on the health no doubt. 

4043. Under what circumstances _ do you say P— When 
it is not taken for any disease, it acts on the health 
delete riou sly. 

4044. Even if those who take it as a sustainer in the 
latter portion of their lives P — Yes, there is a delete- 
rious eflect. 

4045. I think you said that you thought that it had a 
sustaining effect, in some cases at any rate ? — Not if there 
be no disease. 

4046. Have you noticed that the use of opium affects 
the moral character ?--Hardly. 

4047. It does not lead to crime or lunacy P — No. 

4048. Then I take it from yon that your view distinctly 
is that the habitual consumption of opium, except as a 
preventive of disease, is deleterious to health p — Yes. 

4049. I think you also said that these opium-eaters live 
long p— Those who do not take it live longer. I have many 
instances before me of people of 90, 80, and 70 ; they do 
not take opium at all, but they smoke tobacco. 

4050. As a matter of fact, have you known whether 
persons who have taken opium as a luxury have shortened 
their lives or not ? — I cannot say positively ; because I have 
seen persons of 80 and above that age taking opium. 

4051. Have you any further information you would 
like to give us from your experience ? — I have asked many 
opium-eaters whether the opium has acted prophylactically 
against malarious fever, and they have all told me that just 
for 5 or 6 or 8 months after taking the opium they were 
well, but not afterwards. 

4052. You distinguish between the prophylactic effects in 
the case of malaria and the effects on rheumatic pains, 
diarrhoea and so on p — In all cases they take opium, and if 
they leave it off after the cure of the disease, it is all right, 
but if they continue the habitual use of it there is a relapse 
of the disease. 

4053. That is it does not act as a continuous prophy- 
lactic ? — No. 

4054. From year to year ? — No. A year ago two persons 
came to me living in a malarious village in the district of 
Hughli who had taken opium for 20 years. They complain- 
ed to me of the had effects of the opium, and I told them 
to leave it off. They were two brothers ; one of them took 
about 8 grains, and the other 20. They both left off the 
use of opium, and they are now quite hale and hearty. 
Then there is another man who used it for six years • he 
l>ad repeated attacks of fever for which he took opium. 
He left it off, and after eight or tea mouths he was quite 
well. 

4055. None of these three seem to have had much diffi- 
culty in leaving it off ? — There was some difficulty, but for 
a tew days only ; want of sleep, a chewing and aching pain ; 
and for fear of these symptoms they could not leave it off 
easily. 

4056. Does that complete what you have to tell us ?— 
Yes. 

4057. {Lord Brassey.) Have you anything to say with 
reference to the regulations for the sale of opium p Do you 
think that it is desirable to be more stringent in those re- 
gulations ? — Yes, 

4058. _ Do you think that there should be more strin<»enoy 
in granting licenses for the smoking of madat and ehandn ? 
— I wish that the madat dens were closed for ever. With 
regard to chandu I have no knowledge. 

4059. {Mr. Pease.) Have youany statement to make with 
regard to gooli?— There is a preparation of opium (mixed 
up _ with fried bits of guava leave) called gooli or madat, 
which some of the low and poor classes of Mahomedans and 
Hindus are in the habit of smoking. They are generally 
ill-fed, unclean, averse to bathing, and look like skeletons. 
Having contracted this bad habit for a long time, they can- 
not avoid it, and, when out of pocket, pilfer at home and 
abroad. They are the most useless members of society, and 
are a bane to their family and neighbours. It would be a 
beneficial act of Government if gooli addas or " dens " 
are closed for ever. This is generally used by the Chinese. 
Very few of the Bengalis take chandu. 

4060. You say in your printed statement " There is .a 
general impression, though wrong, that unless a man takes 
some sort of stimulant at the age of 40 and above, he 



MINUTES OP EVIDENCK. 



95 



cannot reach the full period of life with vigor and energy. 
This impression has taken such a deep root in them that it 
is hardly possible to remove it, althougli tbey see many 
persons of seventy, eighty and above are enjoying good 
health without the use of a single grain of opium or other 
stimulants except tobacco." — Yes. 

4061. That is a clear expression of your views ? — Yes. 

4062. You further say that you are of opinion that the 
use of opium for truly non-medioal purposes is not only not 
necessary but injurious P — Yes. 

4063. I believe you would be in favour of the sale of 
opium being placea in the hands of persons who knew those 
to whom it was being sold, and had power to refuse it ? — 
Yes, some one who knew the neighbourhood and the opium 
consuming people in the neighbourliood. My suggestion 
is that they should not sell opium to a new man — in a 
poisonons dose I mean, 

4064. They should have power to exercise discretion as 
to whom to sell it to p — Yes ; and in a town there should be 
one vendor selected for each ward who knows nil the con- 
suming people. In the case of new-comers after inquiry he 
might sell opium to them. 

4065. Do you think it well that the person who sells the 
opium should have a direct interest in increasing the sale of 
the drug? —No. 

4066. (Mr. Wihon.) Do you know any European practi- 
tioners in India who recommend opium to their patients for di- 
etetic purposes as distinguished from medicinal P-I do not. 

4067. Do you know any Indian practitioners who so 
recommend it ? — Yes, kabirajis, native physicians. 

4068. Not those educated and practising according to 
European methods P — No. 

4069. Kabirajis do recommend it ? — Yes, of course for 
disease, not as a dietetic. I do not know any person who 
recommends it for non-medical purposes. 

4070. Do you know any practitioners who recommend it 
to persons who are in no way diseased as a prophylactic 
against fererP — No. I have seen in books that opium is 
recommended as a preventive of disease. 

4071. You have heard the evidence of the witnesses who 
preceded you P— Yes. 

4072. I take it that you'.do not agree -with the first two ? 
— ^In general points I do not agree with them. 

4073. You differ widely from them ?— Yes. 

4074. You have alluded in your printed statement to 
" respectable Mahomedans " P — Yes. 

4075. Do you mean that taking opium implies that they 
would not be regarded as very respectable ?— No. I mean 
those who are in a higher state of society. 

4076. Have you been speaking chiefly of opium-smoking, 
or eating, or drinking ; or do you include them all p— Ea,t- 
ing of course in some cases of disease I recommend ; smok- 
ing I do not recommend at all. 

4077. Do you know anybody who recommends it for 
malaria without other medicines P— I do not know ; I 
recommend other things than opium. 

4078. May I ask where you received your medical edu- 
cation ?— In the Calcutta Medical College. 

4079. Did any of your professors ever recommend it for 
that purpose ?— I do not know. 

4080. (Mr. Mowbray.) Do you agree with the last wit- 
ness that of all stimulants in general use, opium is the least 
injurious? — Yes. 

4081. Would you propose to give discretionary power 
with regard to the supply of alcohol, jnst as you would m 
regard to the supply of opium ?— No, not at all. 

4082. What is tlie difPerence in the case of alcohol ?- My 
recommendation is to use opium not for non-medieal pur- 
poses, but for medical, for diseases only. 

4083. You would give discretionary power in the supply 
of opium for medical purposes as I understand ?— Yes ; tor 
medical purposes I would recommend opium as well as 
alcohol. 

4084. You recommend both for medical purposes? — les, 
but not for non-medical purposes. 

4085. Would you prohibit both of them absolutely for 
non-medioal purposes ?- Yes, opium as well as alcohol. 

4086. Absolutely?— Absolutely. 

4087. You have told us that you would allow people to 
supply opium, to persons whom they knew P— To persons 
whom they knew— persons who are ill, not otherwise. Vt 
course there are persons in the villages who are very poor. 



Ghose. 
28 Nov. 1893 . 



who cannot goto the apothecaries' shop. One pica oi Br.Eira Lall 
opium will answer the purpose of 8 annas worth of medicine. 
For that I recommend the use of opium. 

4088. You would require a large number of people to 
distribute the opium in this way P — Not a large number of 
people. When the cultivation is decreased, and when it is 
only used for medical purposes, the sale of opium will be 
less, and more vendors will not be required. 

4089. Do you think that the number of people required 
to distribute opium with these discretionary powers would 
be larger or smaller than the number at present ? — Smaller. 

4090. It is part of your idea that they should be suffici- 
ently numerous to have a personal knowledge of the persons 
who apply to them P — There should be a vendor in each 
ward. There are only eighteen wards in Calcutta. 

4091. Would it be possible for one person in an eight- 
eenth part of Calcutta to have a personal knowledge of 
everybody who came to him P — He would gain the know- 
ledge gradually ; that is my suggestion. 

4092. What is a poisonous quantity of opium ? — More 
than two grains. 

4093. Do you know how many places there are for the 
sale of opium in Calcutta at present P — I do not. 

4094. (Mr. Fanshawe.) You admit, do you not, that 
amongst the people in this country opium is used as a 
domestic remedy P — Yes. 

4095. I think you will admit that a large part of the 
population is necessarily cut off from any medical advice, 
either from gentlemen educated according to the European 
methods, or according to Native methods ? — Yes. There 
are many villages where there is no qualified medical man, 
and for these poor people I say that these vendor's shops 
should be kept. 

4096. But have you had any personal experience amongst 
the Marwaris, whom you have mentioned as living in 
Calcutta P — Very limited ; I see them now and then, but 
my experience is very limited. 

4097. May I take it as a fact tliat opium-eating is a 
habit in moderation among them P — Yes. 

4098. Does it aiFect their health so far as you know P — 
It affects their health, but they are prospering trades- 
people, and they can live well. 

4099. Let us stick to the Marwaris, Does it affect their 
health ? — In the case of those who take a large quantity 
their health is affected. 

4100. Do you say that the habit of opium-eating in 
moderation exists among the Marwaris, who are, I believe, 
a prosperous community? — Yes, and they can live well. 

4101. Then does it affect them injuriously p — Not so 
much as the health of the Bengalis is affected. 

4102. (Sir James Ijyall.) The opium-vendor whom you 
recommend would have to be a medical man, would he 
not ? — Of course not. 

4103. If he was not a medical man, how could he tell 
whether the person who wanted to buy opium required 
it for medical purposes or not ? — Of course he would have 
to believe the patient. 

4104. If the patient said he wanted it for his health, he 
would have to give it p — Yes. There are many persons 
that we do not know. Sometimes a person comes who 
says he takes opium. He looks pretty well, but he says he 
has got colic, or pains somewhere ; but pain is a subjective 
symptom, and it cannot be detected easily. 

4105. What improvement would there be in your sug- 
gestion as compared with the present system ? Because 
a person who wanted to buy opium would, if he thought 
it necessary, say that be wanted it for his health p — The 
vendor should be a resident of the locality, and being 
a resident of the locality, he would know all the families 
residing in it, and he would know who was ill and who 
was not. 

4106. I believe in the country districts there is 
only one opium shop of any sort for fifty square miles 
in about ten villages, or perhaps five or six villages P — It 
may be six or seven or eight villages, but a member of 
one village knows the families of the others. That is 
not so in Calcutta. 

4107. You must get a very honest man P— Of course. 

4108. He might get some inducement offered to him 
to give the opium ? — That must be guarded against. I 
cannot make any further suggestion. 

4109' Ion have said that persons who have been 
ruined by alcohol have been cured sind made useful 



96 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION: 



yhose. 
28 Nov. 1893. 



Dr. EiraLall n'trabixs of society by taking opium?— Yes, I know 
niiiny. I knew a beggar in tbe street who would beg iiice 
to buy aleohol. He has left off alcohol, and he now takes 
twcnty-lbiir grains of opium. He is a clerk ia an office, 
and can do the work of an ordinary man. 

4110. Then in some cases opium is a very good thing ? — 
In those cases of course. It is better than iiloohol. My 
meaning is that the use of opium in that case is better than 
alcohol. 

4111. Is it not very difficult to draw a line between the 
inedioul ar.d non-medical use of opium ? — Yes. When people 
come to take our advice as to the use of opium, we ask 
them, and they say they have some disease, but apparent- 
ly they are looking well. 

4112. (Mr, Wilson.) Am I right inunderstaudinof that 
the Marwaris are among the wealthiest men in Calcutta ? — 



Tes. The Marwaris are residents of Rajputana, Jodhpur 
and other phioe.-f, and they come here to trade. 

4113. They are anjongstthe wealthiest men in Calcutta? 
— They are tradesmen, and doing well with their work. 

4114 Are many of them poor p — There are poor among 
them, and many of them are well-to-do. 

4115. If I undtTstand you rightly, in reply to Mr. 
Fanshawe you s:iid that if they are Wfll fed they do not 
suffer muoli P— They do not suffer much, but I cannot say 
that tliey do not suffer at all. 

4116. But if they are poor and badly fed they do 
suffer P — Of course. 

4117. {Sir James Lyall.) Do you mean in all oases, or 
■when they take it in excess ? — Almost in all cases. Of 
cour,>se when they take it in excess tliey suffer severely ; and 
in some ca-ses when taking a small quantity, some may 
suffer aud some may not. 



The witness withdrew. 



Samilto)}, 
M. D. 



4118. (Chairman.) 
medii'ine P — Yes. 



Miss LiLtlis Hamilton, M.D., called in and examined, 
think you are a doctor of 



4119. Practising in Calcutta? — Yes. 

4120. Will Tou kindly tell us in what way you have 
had opportunities of observing the opium habit P — I have 
heen three years practising amongst the natives, chiefly 
among tbe upper classes of natives ; I have also seen the 
lower classes in tbe hospital, but as our hospital is a zeuana 
liospital, even there I chiefly see the upper classes. 

4121. Have you also a dispensary ? — Yes, I have a dis- 
pensary where we see I'rom sixty to one hundred and eighty 
patients every morning. 

4122. In that way you acquire considerable knowledge 
in the use of opium P — We do not have a great many oases 
of opium-eaters who eat it to such excess that they 
suffer in any way. I have never seen anybody in this 
country who has come to me really suffering from opium- 
eating. 

4123. Only incidentally ? — Yes. In prescribing I have 
fo'ind that patients for whom I have prescribed are in the 
hahit of taking opium, and I am therefore obliged to pre- 
scribe opium in larger quantities if I prescribe it at all. 

4124. Have you formed any estimate of the proportion 
of adults who use opium habitually in smaller or larger 
(Quantities P — No, I have not. I should say that among 
ihe upper classes it was comparatively rare. 

4125. Does it exist among the lower orasses ?— Yes, it 
is more common among them. 

4126. Would you say that half the adults consume 
opium? — Perhaps in the lower classes, but not if you in- 
clude the upper classes. 

4127. As far as you have observed, is the result confined 
to adult males; do the women and children indulge p — I 
have never seen a child who has taken opium. I have no 
experience among men; but among women in the upper 
classes I do not think 1 have seen more than hall a dozen 
nho I could distinctly say took opium in such a way as to 
interfere with treatment. 

4128. Are you speaking of children now ?— lam speaking 
of women in the upper classes. 

4129. In the zenanas? — Yes. 

4130. There it is comparatively rare ? — I think it ia. 

4131. You have seen a little of the practice of giving 
opium to infants, have you not ? — I have not seen it given, 
but I have asceitamed that it is done. 

4132. Does it get into a confirmed habit ? — No, I have 
never seen a child of ten or twelve take opium at all. 

4133. So that the habit amongst women, so far as you 
have observed, is not commenced until adult life P — No ; 
generally speaking in the upper classes of women it dates 
i'rom some illness that they have had. 

4134. And it is continued even after the illness has been 
cured p— Yes, it is. 

4135. Do yon think that in that class there has been a 
ileterioralion of health or morals P — I have never seen any 
such thing in this country. 

41 36. So far as you have seen, the opium habit amongst 
the ladies in the zenana and other women has been com- 
menced first for the relief of some ailment and continued 
alterwards ? — Exactly. 



4137. But continued in moderation ? — Yes, 

4138. Aud you have not really seen deteriorated health 
from this habit r — ^Never. 

4139. Nor deteriorated character ? — Never. 

4140. Have yon any idea how much opium would be used 
in those cases ?■ — I have had a lew oases in hospital, and in 
thdse cases a pice worth (a pice is about a farthmg) would 
last about two or three days. 

4141. That would be only four or five grains ? — lam 
not quite sure. I only know how much they send out for. 

4142. It is a very small quantity P — Yes. 

4143. It would be not more than a grain or two ? — No. 

4144. And is there any tendency to increase the dose ? — * 
They do increa.se it ; they begin with a smaller quantity 
than that originally, and no doubt when thev are older 
women they take more. Many natives I know do take 
a great deal mure, hut they have not come into my practice. 

4145. Is the habit of takinL' opium regaided as dis- 
graeeful in the circles in which yon mnvep — They will 
never admit taking it unless you press tliem. Generallv, 
you are drawn aside, and it is confided to you that they 
do so. I do not think that the taking of opium is 
considered disgraceful, as I think smoking is, but I have 
never seen any opium-smoking at all. 

4146. I suppose it is something like cigarette-smokin" 
by ladies in our own country. What reason have you 

heard siven by natives who are opium consumers? I do 

not think they look upon it in any favonrahle lio-ht. I 
have bi-aid people say that it makes them more intelligent 
for the moment. ° 

4147. Has it not a deleterious effectnpon them physically 
or morally p — No. 

4148. But you think there is a tendency gradually to 
increase the dose ? — Yes. 

41J9. The deleterious eflPect is increased p— I have seen no 
deleterious eSect in this country. 

4150. How would the absolute prohibition of the con- 
sumntion of (mium be regarded by the consumers and the 
public generally p What opinion have you arrived at 
on that point p— I thiuk they would look upon it as a very 
great hardship. They would thmk it unwise. 

4151. You have not observed any public intoxication in 
connection with opium ? — Never. 

4152. Does any portion of the population consume 
spirits or hemp drugs?— They consume hemp drugs 
A large number of natives consume bhang, that is the 
leaves _ but I am not aware of that being intoxicating; 
except m arge quantities. It is somewhat exhilarating 
and eveu children take it. "' 

4153. Have you seen much alcoholic drinking among 
Native women P-Never among the women. I have seen it 
among the men. 

4,154 Would the prohibition of opium, do you think, 
lead to the enlarged use of these other stimulants ?— I fea • 
it would certamly. 

rJ}!l' v"" 7""'*^ "Tl^ '''^^ ="" ^"^ unfortunate occur- 
lence ?-Yes, because I have seen evil effects from the 
others, and I have never seen any from opium. 

^^■f' ■'I'.tu' ""^ JO" have studied the question, do von 
consider that the granting of licenses for the sale of opiC 



MINUTES OP EVIDENCE. 



97 



fia' oilier than medical purposes should be abandoned ? — No, 
I do not. 

4157. You think that the present sj-stem is, ou the 
whole, the best ? — I think so. 

4158. (Lord Bvassey.,) From your experience, would you 
say that the use of opium for medical purposes was more 
necessary, and that its effects wpre more valuable, in this 
country thrni in England?— Certainly, it is more necessary 
in Indian complaints ; in certain complaints nothing will re- 
place it. I have seen tnuoh more taking opium with evil 
efEects in England than I have ever done in this country. 

4159. Do you think there is anything in the climate of 
India which would make the use of opium as an indulgence 
and a luxury more innocuous than in F/nglaiid p — I can 
hardly say. But it is so much taken here that I fancy it 
must be so. There are diseases here which require the 
use of opium very much more than is the case in England. 

4160. {Mr. Pease.) I should like to ask whether you 
would advise people in England to take opium for dietetic 
purposes P — No, I should not. 

4161. Would you advise it here?— No, I should not 
advise it in Enghiiid or here. 

4162. You think it is a practice better avoided P — Yes. 

4163. {Mr. Wilson.) What is your practice in regard to 
recommending alcohol P — Do you in certain oases recommend 
it in the form of beer or wine or spirits as a dietetic ? — 
Yes. I order spirits and very occasionally wine. I do not 
order much of any. I find that the ladies here especially 
are very disinclined to take either. 

4164. You do not regard opium from the same dietetic 
point of view as you do alcohol ?~No. 

4165. As far as you know, would that be the general 
opinion of your European colleagues in this country ? — I 
should think that is so except up country, and I have no 
experience of that. I have heard it urged that it was much 
more necessary in the more malarious parts of the country, 
but I do not personally know about that. 

4166. You would never recommend it for dietetic pur- 
poses to anybody ?— Never. 

4167. Did you ever hear anybody that did P— I only 
know from what I hear. I should not like to say so. I 
have heard it said that it is done, but I do not know. 

4168. Would you consider that a medical man who did 
recommend opium for dietetic purposes was doing a very 
safe thing for his patients ?— I should not; do it. 

4169. You would be afraid that it was a rather seductive 
habit ?— I do not see the necessity for it. 

4170. You are not a total abstainer yourself P— No. 

4171. And would not personally recommend any of your 
patients to refrain entirely from alcohol p— Certainly not, 
unless it was necessary. 

4172 Would you advise an European patient to break 
oGf the opium habit P— Yes, if it had become excessive. 

4173. If it was moderate P— I should still think he was 
wise not to take it. 

4174. Have you recommended it as a prophylactic 
against' malaria ?— I have never done so. 

4175 Do you know any European practitioner of your 
own knowledge who has done so P-I have never seen it 
nrescribed. 1 have heard it stated at the Medical Society 
that it is prescribed in that way. I allow any p..tient who 
comes to the hospital to continue the opium she has been 



in the habit of using, because if she does not take it she 
does not get better. 

4176. Do you in the case oE malarious fever give opium 
alone as a medicine P — No. 

4177. Is the dispen.sary that you mention a public dis- 
pensary or a private one ? — It is the Dufferin Dispensary. 

4178. Are the women who come there mainly of tha 
poorer classes ? — No ; we have some of all classes, most of 
them are purdah women. 

4179. In reference to infants and children, I understand 
you to say that you have not seen them taking opium P — 
Never infants. 

4180. Do you mean that you have not actually seen it, or 
that you are not acquainted with the fact that they do take 
it P — I have seen children who appear to have very bad di- 
gestions, and to be generally upset ; and knowing that it is 
popularly believed that they do give the children opium, I 
have constantly asked the question. I think it is only 
done among the lower classes here, but I think it is also 
done in England. Syrups of various kinds are given by 
mothers to keep their children quiet while they are at work, 
that is all. I have never seen a child suffering from the 
slightest symptoms of opium-poisoning; it is only that 
the digestion may be upset by the opium. 

4181. Have you known or suspected cases of European 
children having had opium given to them by ayahs p — I 
know of one who had opium given, not by an ayah, but by 
a European nurse. 

4182. Is it a common impression that it is so given? — 
I believe so ; but I have never come across it. 

4183. You consider that in the case of your patients you 
have not seen either moral or physical deterioration from 
the opium practice p — That is so. 

4184. I do not know whether you come sufficiently in 
contact with them, or know sufficiently of their history and 
progress, to be able to form a definite opinion about their 
moi^al deterioration p— I know them very well. I know a 
good many families in the zenanas. 

4185. Not those who come to the dispensary so much?— 
I do not know those at all, or very slightly. 

4186. You have been practising for three years p— Yes. 

4187. So that you have not had Jonger than that time to 
watch their progress ?— No, but I have seen women who have 
taken opium for ten years, and they have been quite as 
intelligent as anybody else. 

4188. I do not understand why they draw_ you aside 
and confide it to you P— The upper class ladies do not 
appear to like you to know it ; they do not like to talk 
about it publicly; that is all I mean. I was asked 
whether it was considered disgraceful :_I do not think so, 
but it is not a thing tbat they do publicly. 

4189. I gather that they would tell you about most of 
their symptoms in the presence of other persons P— Yes. 

4190. But when they get to this they hesitate ?— They 
are little shy about it. I do not think it is considered 
disgraceful. 

4191. {Mr. Mowhray.) Is this reluctance that you speak 
of in confessing the truth about opium only in the case 
of women, or is it a disgrace in the case of men?— 
I do not know anything about men professionally. I see 
them in their houses, and I ask them the question, and 
they have told me that it is not considered disgraceful, but 
that they consider opium-smoking rather disgraceful. 

4192. Your remark applies to women P— Yes. 



Miss L. 

Hamilton. 

MD. 

28 Nov. 1893. 



The witness withdrew. 



RaI EaHADITB KiNNT Lall DBV: 

4193. (Chairman.) Are you a medical manP-Yes, 
I am a graduate of the Medical College, Calcutta. 
I was over 30. years in the service of Government, 
f « the first ten years I was Assistant Professor 
of Chemistry and Chemical Examiner to the Government. 
For the next nine years I was a teacher of practical chemis- 
try in the Medical College and additional ChemiCHl Examiner 
^Government. For one year 1 was officiatmg Professor o 
Chemistry, and Chemical Bxammer to Government, and toi 
the Tst I; years of my service I was teacher of Chemistry 
and MedicalJurisprudence in Campbell Medical School. 
Tim In Honorary Member of the Pharmaceutical Society 
of Great Britain. 



C.I.E., r.C.S., called in and examined. s^i Bahndar 

4194. What opportunities have you had of studying the -^ ^ F.CS 
effects of the opium habit from personal observation?— Asa ' 1_1_ 
medical practitioner I have had occasion to visit families, and 
among the higlier classes I have a large practice, and among 
them I have known the elderly people, even among the 
ladies taking opium with advantage in cases of illness 
rheumatism, pain or any other chronic disease, such as 
asthma. 

4195 Amongst the people that have fallen under your 
observation during this long period, would 5 or 6 per cent. 
of the adult males use opium habitually P— 1 believe so. I 
cannot give it accurately. It is somewhere about 5 or 6 
per cent. 

N 



98 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION I 



iJoi Bahadur 4196. Andtlie dose would be from 5 to 7 grains a dayP — 

E. L. Bey, I suppose so. They commence it from half a grain to a 

C.I.B.,F.C.S. grain, then gradually increase it provided the ailment is not 

properly cured. Generally they do not exceed 4 grains as 

_I_, '' ^^ ■'■ ki^ow amongst the aristocratic classes. It is only 

in exceptional cases that they take larger dosea medicinally ; 
4 grains is always sufficient. 

4197. Four grains per dose or 4 grains per day ? — Four 
grains per dose. People take a dose once or twice in the 
course of the day. 

4198. Then that would mean 8 or 10 grains per day ?— 
Perhaps it would. 

4199. Altogether I dare say you have noticed a large 
number of these habitual opium-eaters? — Yes, a great 
many. 

4200. What effects have you noticed on their health 
and morals p — Generally they keep in good health. Those 
who are ill-fed or under-fed may lose flesh. Generally 
when they are under-fed they fall back in weight. The 
poor man will generally suffer if he is an habitual eater, 
provided he caunot have his usual amount of food ; he will 
waste and he may get bowel complaints, diarrhoea and 
so on. 

4201. So that in the case of a poor man he would be 
better without the opium p — Yes. 

4202. He had better spend his money on additional 
food ? — Yes. 

4203. In the case of persons who are well fed, you 
have not observed any dipastrous effect on their health and 
morals ? — I have not had many opportunities. 

4204. Do they continue in health for an indefinite 
period? — Yes. 

4205. Have you traced any crime or lunacy to the 
use of opium? — I have never observed any opium-eater 
who has done any criminal act, nor any opium-eater who 
has become a lunatic. 

4206. What has been your experience with regard to 
the effect of opium-eating in malarious regions ? — I 
have had an opportunity of seein? various people 
coming from malarious districts ; and I know that many 
of thenc have taken opium and have got well. There are 
many persons who have become opium-eaters on account 
of the malarious state of the country. 

4207. And is it your impression that they would be 
worse if they did not P — They would certainly be liable 
to fever, and the fever would carry them off. The opium 
arrests molecular change and the wear and tear of the body, 
so that they can continne their work for a long period 
by the use of opium, but they, will fail to do so if they 
are deprived of their quantity. 

4208. Speaking generally I suppose that skilled medical 
relief is quite outside the reach of large poi-tions of the 
population? — That is perfectly true. There may be one 
per cent, who can obtain medical relief. A large portion 
of the community in the mofussil cannot get it; and 
even in Calcutta there are many who cannot get medical 
relief if they do not go to the hospital. 

4209. So that as a popular domestic medicine it is in 
great request ? — Yes, 

4210. So far as opium is concerned, you think that on 
the whole measures taken to prohibit it would be injurious 
to the population ? — Certainly. 

4211. Youthink that?— Yes. 

4212. Comparing the opium habit with the alcohol habit 
or the habit of using bhang, you think it less injurious? 
— Opium is decidedly less injurious. In cases of alcohol 
drinking the liver will generally be upset, the heart will be 
diseased, the brain will be muddled, and many complica- 
tions will ensue ; whereas if opium is taken to excess, it 
seldom produces any disease except emaciation and diarr- 
hoea. 

4213. I think you have made some interesting observa- 
tions with regard to the composition of opium. Will you 
kindly mention it? — When I was Chemical Examiner I 
had the opportunity of examining the contents of the 
stomach in the cases of people who had died from the 
elfecta of poison. In every poison case, I always tried the 
Eeinsch's test to detect the mineral poison ; whenever there 
was any Indian oidum in the stomach, it was sure to show 
purjile color, owing to the presence of hydrochloric acid. 
This purple color is due to one of the ingredients of the 
Indian opium, viz., porphyroxine. In examining the 
opium from other countries I found in the Malwa 
opium a very minute tiace of it, but in the Turkey opium 
I did not find a trace. This is one of the trial tests for the 



presence of Indian opium in the stomach. One-thirtieth 
of a grain can be detected with hydrochloric acid, after 
being treated with modification of Stast's process. 

4214. Is there any other statement you would like to 
make ?— I think the presence of this ingredient porphyroxine 
is the reason why the Indian opium is preferred in China. 
It is not to be found in the opium of any other country. 
Perhaps it tempers the quality of the opium, and that is 
why the higher classes among the Chinese like to have it, 
just as the higher class Europeans prefer champagne to 
any of the inferior qualities of alcohol. That is my im- 
piession as to why the Chinese so much like the use of 
Indian opium. 

4215. That is only hypothetical on your part ? — Yes. 

4,216. (Mr, Pease.) You have stated tliat under the in- 
fluence of opium the labouring classes are capable of pro- 
longed exercisB ? — Yes. Opium an'ests wear and tear of 
tissues and so tends in many conditions to sustain or prolong 
life. 

4217. How long will that last ?— The effect will last a 
much longer time than the effects of alcohol. I think it will 
last 8 or 10 hours. 

4218. What is the state of the man at the end of that 
period ? — In 24 hours the whole effect is exhausted. There 
may be a certain amount of languor, when they are 
incapable of work. 

4219. You look upon it as a stimulant to whicl there 
is attached a certain amount of depression ? — Yes. There is 
more depression in cases of alcohol. 

4220. Do you think that the continued practice of 
taking opium as a stimulant has an injurious effect 
upon the constitution ? — I do not think so. After a certain 
age the force is restored and the digestion improved. 
Those who suffer from various chronic diseases get over 
them, because they can digest their food; their food is re- 
tained. 

4221. Have you known many cases in which persons who 
have taken considerable quantities of opium have given it 
up ? — Very few. They have diminished the quantity, but 
not entirely given it up. 

4222. Does it require much effort ? — A great deal of 
effort. 

4223. What effect has it upon the health ? — The nervous 
system would become irritable, and then the person will 
become sleepless, and there will be a general waste ; he will 
not he able to take his food properly. 

4224. After that is there a full restoration to health ? 

Not in the case of elderly people, but the young may 
recover. 

4225. So that your view is that they suffer from havin" 
indulged in the practice in earlier life ? — Yes. " 

4226. (Mr. Wilson.) Where did yon receive your 
medical education ? — In the Calcutta Medical College. 

4227. Where have you resided?— In Calcutta. 

4228. How long? — Since my birth. Nearly 62 years. 

4229. Were you in the Opium Department?— No. I was 
in the Chemical Department of the Medical College as Che* 
mical Examiner. 

4230. Were you Opium Examiner?— No. Whenever 
opium used to come from Government I had to examine it. 

4231. It comes once a month, does it not?— No. 
Generally in the opium season. 

4232. I believe you have retired from that now on your 
pension ? — Yes, for nearly ten years. 

4233. In reference to your views about the special pro- 
perty of porphyroxine, are you supported or corroborated hv 
other scientific men p — Yes. 

4234. Is it your own view ?— The tempering of Indian 
opium is my own view, but with ros:ard to the presence of 
porphyroxine, Drs. Macnamara, Palmer and others have al- 
ready tested it, 

4235. Can you tell me why milk is taken by opium- 
eaters so much ?— Milk being assimilated thoroughly by the 
0|iium-eaters, it becomes conducive to their heaKh. The 
opinm-eaters who take preparations of milk with sugar, 
Indian sweetmeats, cream and the like, are always found 
in a healthy condition, like the alcohol drinkers who take 
meat. The opium-eaters will generally suffer and fall back 
in weight, if they are deprived of milk food, like the gani'a- 
smokers who are deprived of oleagenous food, 

4236. Their stomachs are not in a very good state ?— 
When they do not take opium. Those who take milk are 
always iu a good condition; they assimilate it much 
better than any other food. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



9f) 



4237. Milk is one of the easiest things to digest, I 
suppose P— Yes, particularly by the influence of opium it 
is retained in tlie stomach. Those who cannot take 
milk can by means of opium retain it and assimilate it 
properly. 

4238. Are there many who capnot take milk P— Many. 
It ferments in the stomach, and they do not take it. 

4239. Do they tflke opium in order to help them with 
the milk, or do they take milk in order to help them with 
the opiumP — Milk is taken hy the opium-eaters, not so much 
for assimilating milk as for counteracting the evil effects 
of opium. 



4240. (Afj". FansJiavie.) I understood you to say that the Mai Bahadur 
habitual use of opium in moderation generally grew out K. L. Hey, 
of some disease P— Generally so. C.I.M.,F.C.8. 

4241. Did you not say that the habit of eating opinm 28 Nov. 1893. 

in moderation has had its origin generally in disease ? — 

Generally, opium is first prescribed when a person is 

sufFering from any malady, and that leads to its habitual 
use. 

4242. Apart from that, hns it come within your pro- 
fessional knowledge that there is a habit of taking opium 
in moderation as a dietetic stimulant late in life ?— Yes. 

4243. You mean us to understand that you know 
both P— Yes. 



The witness withdrew. 



Me. Khueoeshue Bose called in and examined. 



4244. (Chairman) I believe you are Medical Officer to 
the Eastern Bengal Railway ? — Yes. 

4245. What have been your duties? — I have only 
been there a year. 

4246. I believe your official work is done at Sealdah p— 
Yes. 

4247. Where is that ? — Near the Railway Station. 

4248. I believe you are Medical Superintendent of 
the Hospital ? — Yes, 1 am in charge of the dispensary. 

4249. Are you also engaged in practice P — I only see 
a few patients between H and 3. 

4250. Is your experience as to the opium habit confined 
to your district about Sealdah p — No; I have always 
lived in this country among the people. 

4251. And what has your impression been as to the 
effect of the habit of using opium upon the people whom 
you have observed? — The effect of a moderate dose of 
opium is not very marked. 

4252. Do you mean by that, that you cannot tell 
whether it does harm or good, or is it indifferent? — It is 
indifferent. 

4253. You say in your printed statement that you believe 
it retards physical decay and death in those whose health 
had already been undermined by diseases, that in those 
cates, therefore, its effects are salutary P — Yes. 

4254. When healthy people take opium, you do not think 
it does good or harm, that is your view ?— Yes. 

4255. Does it affect the moral character in any way ? — 
It does not. 

4256. What do you call the moderate use of, opium P — 
One grain to eight grains. 

4257. Is there a tendency to increase the dose ? — Yes, 
they generally increase the dose. 

4258. Does that increased dose act deletenously ?— No. 

4259. You think that there is an increasing tolerance as 
people grow older ?— They become gradually accustomed to 
it, and increase the dose. 

4260. Still it does not do them harm ?— No. 

4261. Have you noticed much difficulty when people 
try to give it up ? -Only for a few days. I have known 
persons give it up all of a sudden, and there has been a dith- 
culty the first few days. 

4262. Have you also seen the same effect in the case of 
alcohol and hemp dmgs P— Yes. 

4263 You say in your printed statement that opium is 
used for medical purposes by about 25 per cent, of the 
middle and upper classes : do you mean of adult males i— 
I mean those who have attained forty years and upwards. 

4264. People in towns ?— In the country too. It is used 
by the shopkeepers, weavers, tailors, and those who follow a 
sedentary life, ihe cultivating classes, as a rule, do not take 
opium. The non-medical use of opium is rather prevalent 
among the artisan classes, particularly the mill hands and 
menials. Among the upper and middle classes, this vice is 
only noticed among those whose education was neglected. 
The non-medical use of opium generally begins m the shape 
of smoking, and at an early age, say twenty or so ; and ttiis 
habit is invariably contracted from bad company. In time 
these smokers of opium, losing all their energy, turn into 
idlers of society, and are hated by all, even by their dear and 
near relations. The poorer class, as may be expected, gra- 
dually take to stealing, in order to provide themselves with 
their usual dose, and thus become a constant source of an- 
noyance to society. Starvation in their family is inevitable 
in most cases. 



4265. Have you observed those consequences from opium* 
eating? — Yes. As a rule people begin after 40 in 
consequence of some ailments. Smokers generally take it 
for luxury or intoxication, and they begin very early. They 
become indolent, and do not like work. Sometimes they 
give up smoking, but they eat opium in large doses, 

4266. From opium-smolting, arising from bad company 
and so on after a certain time, they go on to opium-eat- 
ing ? — Yes. The use of opium is also to be found among 
another class of men, who had been in the habit of hard 
drinking in their younger days. To this class opium has 
often proved beneficial, both mentally and physically ; and 
this change of habit has often saved them from untimely 
death, and their family from starvation and ruin. 

4267. Do you believe that opium is used as a popular 
domestic remedy ? — I refer to those who begin to take opium 
on account of disease. 

4268. Not under the advice of the doctor? — As a rule 
they do not consult the doctor. The medical use of opium, 
I believe, is more prevalent in the districts of 24-Parganas, 
Nadia, Hooghly and Howrah, Jessore and Khoolna, Farid- 
pur, Birbhoom, Gya, Shahabad, Patna and the Sonthal Par- 
ganas, tlian in Purnea, Eungpur andMymensingh, where 
gauja takes the place of opium as far as my experience 
goes in the province of Bengal. I noticed the prevalence 
of non-medical use of opium (smoking) in the districts of 
Akyab and Kyoukphyoo in Burma. I also noticed opium- 
smoking in Naini Tal, in the North-Western Provinces, 
among theMahomedan menials chiefly, who accompany their 
masters from the plains during the summer months. The 
inhabitants (natives) of Kumaun are not fond of opium. 
They prefer hemp (bhang andcharas). In Deoghur, in the 
Sonthal Parganas, almost all the children of the proper 
inhabitants of the place are given a small dose of opium, 
almost from birth, at night, in order to keep them quiet, 
up to the age of 5 or 6, when the habit is gradually eradi- 
cated by substituting bhang. The Sonthals, I believe, are 
not addicted to opium. A few confirmed opium-eaters or 
smokers I found in all the jails among the prisoners with 
which I had any connection during my service extending 
over 23 years, but the proportion was small, say 2 or 3 
per cent., except in the Kyoukphyoo Jail, where the pro- 
portion Wiis about 10 or 12 per cent, of the jail population. 

4269. What do you think is the opinion of the people of 
Bengal as to prohibiting the use of opium for non-medioal 
purposes ? — The people of Bengal are generally against the 
use of opinm for non-medical purposes, but they are not 
willing to bear any cost of the prohibitive measure. 

4270. What is your opinion as to the prohibition of the 
growth of the the poppy P— The growth of poppy and the 
manufacture and sale of opium in British India. should not 
be prohibited. I think prohibition is not possible. No 
change in the existing arrangement is necessary. If prohi- 
bited, the poorer classes will take to ganja and the richer to 
alcohol, which change is not desirable. 

4271. You think that the growth of the poppy and the 
manufacture and use of opium promote the commercial 
prosperity of the country ?— Yes, the poppy is largely cul- 
tivated in Gya, Patna and Shahabad as far as my experi- 
ence goes ; it brings into the pockets of cultivators and 
landholders about double the amount that they could expect 
otherwise from the same land. Neither the landholders nor 
the cultivators are willing to give up the cultivation of the 

4272 {Mr.Fease) You have spoken of persons taking a 
moderate quantity of opium. Is not four grains a fatal 
dose to a person not habituated to opium ?— Habitual eaters 
generally take much more than that. 

N 2 



Mr. 

Khurgeshur 

hose. 



TOO 



INDIAN OPICM commission: 



Mr. Klmr- 4273. What would you consider a fatal dose to a person 
geshnr Base, not used to taking opium p — Six grains. 
8 Nnv 1893 ^274. Yon consider a moderate allowance eight grains, 



■ while six grains would bo fatal to a person who had not 
become tolerant of opium P— I refer to those who take 
opium gradually. They begin with one grain or less, and 
then gradually go on to eight grains or more. 

4274. {Mr. Wilson.) Will you tell me who in your opinion 



suffer most in Bengal from malaria, the ryots or the well-off 
people in the cities ? — The villagers sutfer most. 

4276. Yet you say that those people rarely have recourse 
to opium p — Yes. 

4277. So that where they suffer most they take the 
least P— A very few people know that opium is a preven- 
tive of malaria. 



The witness withdrew. 



Adjourned till to-morrow at 10-30. 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Buildings, Calcutta. 



FIFTEENTH DAY- 
Wednesday, 29tli November 1693. 



The Right Honoueable LORD BRASSEY, K.CB. (Chaieman, pbesidiiVq). 



SlE WlLlTAM ROBBBTS, M.D. 

Me. R, G. 0. MowBEAT, M.P. 
., A. U. Fan SH AWE. 



Me. Abthur Pease. 
„ Haeidas Vehabidae Desai. 
„ H.J. Wilson, M.P. 

Me. J. Pebscoti Hbwett, CLE., Secretary. 



Br.D. 

Morison. 



Dr. Donald Moeison called in and examined. 



29 Nov, 1893, 4278. {Chairman.) Kindly state your position in this 

. country, the nature of your duties, and the length of time 

yon liave been here, and the parts of the country in which 
you have resided, and generally the circumstances which 
have given you experience with reference to the question 
with which we have to deal. — I have been a medical mis- 
sionary in the town of Rampore Bauleah for about sixteen 
years. I have taken a deep interest in the social, moral, 
temporal, and spiritual condition of the people. I was for 
years a member of the Municipality and District Board. I 
mention this to show that I was not indifferent to their 
temporal welfare, and I endeavoured to aid the Government 
and local bodies in every attempt made to improve the con- 
dition of the people, or to alleviate their sufferings. I have 
had two dispensaries under my charge for nearly all these 
years. I also itinerated all over the District of Rajshahye 
twice a year in the rainy season, and during the cold 
weather, and visited the adjoining Districts of Maldah and 
Pubna occasionally. During the rainy season, when the 
rivers were in flood and the rice fields inundated, I itiner- 
ated among the villages. I may say that I have during 
those itinerations visited more than once most parts of the 
district. In my double capacity as physician and mission- 
ary, I hnve been brought into the closest contact with all 
classes of the people, especially the poor. During those 
years from six to ten thousand patients annually were treat- 
ed by me. 

4279. Will you inform us whether the dit:tricts with 
which you have had experience were of a malarious charac- 
ter ? — Rajshahye District is everywhere malarious, in some 
parts intensely so. When fever is very severe, as during 
September, October, and November, I have found sixty to 
eighty per cent, of my patients suffering from malarious 
fevers or their complications. 

4280. Is the use of opium common in the E.ijshDhye 
District P — The use of opium is by no means common among 
the ryot.s of Rajshahye. I should say it is quite exceptional 
to find an agiicultural labourer an opium-eater. In the 
towns, smoking opium is prevalent among day labourers and 



other workmen who are disreputable, and some of them are 
very young men. Opium is not used by the people of 
Rajshahye either as a prophylactic or for the cure of fever. 
This remark applies to the districts of Maldah, Pubna, and 
indeed I may say to Lower Bengal. 

4881. Have you anything to say as regards the view 
that is taken among the people with whom you have been 
in contact in Lower Bengal as to the opium habit p Is it 
regarded as a discreditable habit p— The habit of using 
opium in young people is always considered a disgraceful 
thmg : m elderly people it is excused on the general ground 
of failing powers. 

4282 Would you say that the opium habit is common P 
—It IS by no means common in the districts I speak of, or 
in Lower Bengal generally. 

4283. What do you say about other classes P Take the 
Mahomedans p— It is by no means true to say that as a 
rule elderly people take to opium. Among Mahomedans, a 
few headmen in villages, a few shop-keepers, tailors, mer- 
chants, and house-servants generally in European employ 
take to the habit ; and among Hindus a few elderly people. 
That it is considered disreputable in most cases is manifest 
from the secrecy with which they eat it, and the fear they 
have of bemg branded as " opium-eaters." 

4284. Have you any explanation that you can suggest as 
to the circumstances under which the opium habit is first con- 
tracted p— Young men begin it from vicious habits or from 
seeing others take it. Old men or middle-aged men from 
40 to 50 years begin the habit by taking it to restore or re- 
vive the tailing natural powers. 

428.5. Is opium in your opinion used as a domestic, 
remedy p— It is used very little, if at all, as a domestic re- 
medy in Rajshahye ; but I have seen men who began it on 
account of chronic rheumatic pains— pains of various kinds 
common to the labouring classes in all countries. Some 
begin it for pleasure, some for pain, others from curiosity 
most from the contngion of bad example ; but I never 
heard of it being rccojimeuded by any doctor, European op 



MIKUl'ES 01' ET.D2 






101 



Native, either to ward off or cuie malaria ; and, as I have 
aheady stated, tlie people themselves never take to it as a 
prophylactic. 

4286. Do you consider as a medical man that the use of 
opium is necessarily injurious ?— I consider that no one can 
take to eating it without increasing the dose, and suffering 
deterioration ol: bodily vigour. The progress may be slow 
and undoubtedly is so in some cases ; but in the majority of 
oases emaciation is speedily manifested, and the bodily 
vigour deteriorates. The opium-smoker is so demoralised 
that his very surroundings suggest how low he has fallen ; 
but the opium-eater with ample means keeps up a fair ex- 
terior for years. The poor man cannot afford suitable food 
to counteract the injurious effects of the opium, but must 
encroach upon his already too scanty meal to supply his 
unnatural craving. 

4287. Have you anything further to say with reference 
to the use of opium from a medical or scientific point of 
view ? — I should like to say something in regard to the 
tolerance created by tiie drug in the system when it is either 
taken in the form of smokint; or eating ; and I do not 
think I could bring forward a better authority or one that 
is more universally assented to in his general statements 
by the medical officers of tlie Government than Dr. 
Uussell, who has been before you here as a witness, 
in his book on Malaria and Injuries of the Spleen, 
which was published about thirteen years ago. 
As far as my experience goes with regard to the use of 
opium, I miiiht say that from the day I was instructed by 
the Professor of Materia Medica in the Glasgow Unversity 
to the presen^, day I have not found that any one can begin 
the use of opium and limit himself to a small quantity. 
If he uses opium at all for pain or disease he must of 
necessity increase it gradually until he comes up sometimes, 
as you have heard, to enormous quantities. As to the cause 
why with such unanimity people say opium-eaters must 
take milk if they are to resist the debilitating effect of 
opium, I would quote from a hook. My own opinion is of 
very little consequence, but I quote from a book by Sir 
William Eoberts on" Dietetics and Dyspepsia," at page 68. 

4288. i&ir William Soberts.) I do not see what relev- 
ancy that has to the question before the Commission ? — If 
you will allow me, I will connect it. The opium-eater is 
known to be a great drinker of milk. He cannot resist 
the influence of opium, unless he takes large quantities 
of milk. That is the universal testimony of the opium- 
eaters themselves ; and every one who investigates the 
matter will find that it is so. 

4289. {Chairman.) I do not think we need detain you 
f ui"ther on that particular point. What have you to say as to 
the influence of opium-eating upon physical energy p — With 
regard to the influence of opium-eating on the physical 
energy, I may say that there is a common fallacy, when 
speaking of the stimulating effects of opium. It is stated 
that the opium-eater can do a great deal of work when he 
has taken his opium. In speaking with two men, who were 
utterly opposed to my views on this matter and who were 
employers of labour, and among the labourers were_ a good 
many opium-eaters, I put the question to them ; given two 
men with equal physique, one an opium-eater and the other 
not, would you find in your experience that the opium-eater 
would do more work and sustain more fatigue than the 
healthy man, with equal physique, who did not take opium? 
One of the men to whom I spoke was the Captain of a ship, 
and the other was an agent of a steamer going to Orissa. 
They both said they could not say so, and the Captain dis- 
tinctly stated that his experience of opium-eaters on board 
his ship was, that they do not and were not able to perform 
the game tasks that healthy men of the same physique 
would do. 

4290. Have you any remarks to offer with reference 
to the difficulty of giving up the habit of taking opium 
when it is acquired?— I have experience of attempts that 
were made by my orders with opium-eaters. 1 find in 
my notes I have these cases. The first case was a native 
Christian who was suffering from disease of the bones of 
the legs, the tibia. He was recommended to begin opium- 
eating by a doctor in Calcutta. I saw him some years 
after, and found him emaciated and weak. No doubt his 
disease had some share in the debility, but he, of bis own 
accord, wished to give it up. I tried by reducing his dose, 
and giving him another anodyne instead of opium. He 
suffered such agony, chiefly from the want of the drug, not 
on account of the pain in his leg, but from the general crav- 
ing for the drug, that he could not endure it, and went 
back to his habit, and died a confirmed opium-eater. The 
second case, a native of Orissa, was a young man whom I 
engaged as my dispenser. I found out that he was an 
opium-eater. He had no disease whatever. He was a 



walking skeleton. As long as he could get his opiam he 
could do his work, but not at all satisfactorily. I found 
these two men in the employ of the mission, and both of 
them I urged to give up the habit, but with na effect. 
They threw up their situations rather than undergo the 
agony which would follow the giving up of the drug. The 
third case wae an opium-eater in Cuttack, named Rundo, 
forty-five years of age. He was a day labonrer; he became 
feeble, and could no longer work on account of the opium. 
His wife tried to help him for a time by working ; but she 
found she could not support her family and give him money 
for opium. Others refused to give him money to buy 
0|)ium. In desperation for want of the opium, he committed 
suicide by hanging himself. The fourth case I would like 
to refer to is that of a gentleman in Glasgow. A few years 
ago he oonsulted Dr. Yellowlees ; and he told me of tlie in- 
cident. This Glasgow merchant felt tliat he was enslaved 
by the habit of injectmg morphia into his system. He had 
endeavoured again and again to give it up, but bad failed. 
He at length delivered himself np to Dr. Yellowlees to be 
cured. The doctor looked him in a padded room, where 
dangerous lunatics are confined, took from him his morphia, 
and kept him for a week or ten days till he was cured of 
the habit. 

4291. Have you any remarks to offer with reference to 
the effect of opium upon children p — The result of dosing 
children with opium is most injurious. The fatal case of a 
child of a high official of the Bengal Government comes be- 
fore my mind. The mother of the child told me of this 
case. She said : — " The medical officer of the Bengal 
Medical Service gave my child an over dose of opium, and it 
died." I think that we, medical men, ought not to depart 
from the instructions we have received from our Professors 
of Materia Mediea, that opium given to children is always 
risky and dangerous. No doubt some do give opium to 
children in very minute doses, but that heroic treatment 
cannot he carried on tor any time'without the medical offi- 
cer regretting that he has ever begun it. .There was 
another case of poisoning a child. I saw the photograph 
of the child, and it was probably from 4 to 5 years of age. 
The ayah gave it opium in minute dosi's ; the child withered 
away, and when it was very ill, in fact nearly dying, the 
medical officer discovered it was through opium. This 
woman was charged before the magistrate with chronically 
poisoning this child, and was punished with three years' 
imprisonment, but I understand if it bad been her own 
child she might have gone quite unmolested, because it 
would not be known that she had done it. 

4292. Does that complete what you wish to say with 
regard to the effect of opium upon children p — I think there 
should be some control exercised over opium, so that 
women could not possibly obtain it in order to drug their 
children. I learn, although it does not occur in my own 
district, that in other parts of India there is a heavy 
mortality from this habit. 

4293. Have you anything to say with reference to the 
facilities that now exist under the system of licenses for the 
sale of opium p Do you consider the facilities are excessive ? 
— The facility with which opium can be purchased places a 
great temptation before a morally weak people. Hence the 
great number of suicides in our cities and opium-growing 
districts. Only two months ago the little town in which I 
labour was thrown into excitement by the news that a boy 
16 years of age reading in the Government Collegiate School 
had poisoned himself by swallowing opium because he 
was unable, or thought he was unable, to pass an examiiia- 
tion. _ The next case, which occurred only quite recently 
in this little town I am speaking of, was that of a young 
widow, 18 or 20 years of age, who for some domestic 
trouble or other took opium and died. The third case was 
that of a married woman, who, on account of a, quariel 
with her husband, took opium and died. I think the sale 
of opium should be controlled, and that the quantity which 
an ordinary person should be allowed to purchase should ba 
very much reduced. 

4294._ Have you now said all that you wish to say on 
the subject before us in its general aspects p — Yes, 

4295. I understand that you have recently visited 
Orissa p— I have. 

4296. How long were you there ? — I was there for about 
one whole day, in Cuttack. 

4297. Do I understand that you visited that place with 
a view of obtaining information, so far as the length of 
time permitted, with regard to the subject which has been 
referred to this Commission P^-That was my object. 

4298. And you desire, I believe, to make a statement 
which will represent the results of the enquiries you made 
at Cuttack ?— On my way to Orissa by steamer in 



Dr. D. 

Morison. 

29 Nov. 1^93. 



102 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSION 



Dr. D. November 1893, I met on board a number of native 
Morison. goutlemen (HiiidnH) returning to Orissa. All except 

one were connected with tlie Government. They were 

29 Nov. 18 93. all men of intelligence and education. Two of them 
were M.A.'s and two had read np to the B.A. 
of the Calcutta University. I explained to tlieni in a 
few words my object in going to Orissa. These young men 
acquiesced in the following statement in the presence of a 
witness: " We deliberately state that our experience of 
Outtack, and generally over most parts of Orissa, h.is led 
us to consider Orissa peculiarly free from malaria with 
spleen and fevers, as compared with Calcutta, Burdwan, 
Nadya, and other parts of Lower Bengal with which we are 
acquainted. We even know some friends of ours who liave 
eettled in Cuttnck, Orissa, on acconnt of its freedom from 
malaria. We know that in Angul and other parts there is 
fever, probiibly malarious, but Orissa generally is not con- 
sidered by us to be malarious. We are decidedly of opinion 
that the habit of taking opium in Orissa is not due to 
malaria, as the people themselves do not attribute the habit 
to that cause." The witness in this case was Babu Hari 
Das Banerjec, 65, Nimtolla Ghat Street, Calcutta, who 
stated — "I am a zemindar and have estates in Orissa. The 
ariove evidence was taken before me on 15th November 
1893." I would state that one Europeim Govemment offi- 
cial, also one native of Orissa, a zemindar and manager of a 
large estate, gave me similar evidence to that recoi-ded above. 
I V?SS st Outtack on the 17th November, and I was taken 
to see a retired Deputy Collector, who is interested in this 
question. I learned from him that a few days before he had 
prepared a statement on ganja and opium in Orissa. He 
said in answer to my questions : — " I am a Hindu, a native 
of Orissa. I have been for many years Deputy Collector, and 
have had occasion to reside in Balasore and Cutlaok. I never 
heard of opium being given to cure or ward ofl malaria, for 
here in Cultack we have little or none. I have known fami- 
lies come to Cnttack from Bengal with their members suifer- 
ing from spleen and fever, and after residing here for some 
time without taking medicine, they have been cured of 
their malarial ailments." " Were you awar-e that opium 
was cultivated in Balasore or in any part in Orissa in the 
time of Warren Hastings?" "No, I was not aware of that; 
that may account for the prevalence of the habit;. At Bala- 
sore a friend of mine, a Government official, complained to 
me that he could not get his clerks to work after 5 p.m., 
however great the pressure of work. He said all his clerks 
took opium, and as that was the hour when they took their 
opium, they could not go on without it." " Had you any 
experience of the Orissa famine (of 1866?)" "Yes. I was 
on relief works and gave the starving food." " Did yon 
ever hear the starving people ask for opium to allay the 
pangs of hunger p " (Laughing.) " No, I never heard of that ; 
their one cry was ' Rice ! Rice ! " " So you do not think the 
people could buy opium (a dearer article than rice) when 
they had no money to buy rice ? " " Certainly not." I quote 
irom the note prepared by this gentleman on opium and 
ganja, above referred to. He says : — " I know of many 
instances in which heirs to large estates brought ruin upon 
themselves by smoking and eating opium ; not that 
the expenditure attending the habit was great enough 
to cause the ruin : but that the vice made the men 
on the one hand so lethargic, and weakened their in- 
tellects so much that they almost entirely neglected the 
management of their estates, leaving them in the hands of 
their servants, who robbed them right and left ; and on the 
other hand, they were made exceedingly fond of carnal plea- 
sure of all sorts, in which they indulged freely and most ex- 
travagantly. I have known the want of means to buy the 
drug turn men into thieves and burglars in numerous cases, 
which came before me officially. People have let their 
wives and children starve rather than do without the drug. 
The drug is used by men of all classes everywhere in Orissa: 
that is to say, the use is not confined to any particular 
race, class or district. It is regarded as a curse hy all, ex- 
cept, of course, thosewho are enters or smokers of the drug. 
Anything short of total prohibition of the cultivation of 
the poppy, except for medicinal purposes, would be a partial 
measure ill calculated to save the country from the des- 
tructive effects of opium. As regards the Native States, 
those in Orissa draw their supplies from the Government 
stores ; in none of those States is the poppy grown or opium 
manufactured. I think the sympathies of the rulers of 
these States could easily be enlisted in the noble cause of 
abstinence from this drug. There need be no special police 
force to detect smuggling in the case of opium in this part 
(Orissa) of the country. It would not be easy to grow the 
poppy or manufacture opium without being noticed by the 
ordinary police. The existing police force, considered sufH- 
cient to prevent illicit preparation of the drug ia districts 
nnder the Government, would prevent its being smuggled 
into them from Native States, where it is freely grown with- 



out any restrictions. Should the rulers of these states be 
induced, as tliey easily could be, to prohibit its growth in 
their territories, the need for providing ai^ainst smuggling 
would be reduced. The prohibitive measures recommended 
are not, therefore, likely to increase the charjje on account of 
a detective force, as far at least as Orissa is concerned. One 
(if the grounds of objection is the loss of revenue to Govem- 
ment, which would ceitainly result from it, supposing that 
such measures are enforced. 1 would simply answer that, 
where body and soul are at stake, as they undoubtedly are 
in the case under notice, no pecuniary consideration should 
stand in the way of reform. If opium-eating and smoking 
is a vice, as it is on all hands admitted to be, the traflSc in 
the drug cannot but be considered immoral. This being so, 
there can be no justification whatever for the Government 
continuing the trade for the sake of filthy lucre. The rev- 
enue derived from it every righteous man would look upon 
as ill-gotten money ; as the gain from gambling houses and 
those worse than these, would be. It is for the statesmen 
who are at the helm of Government to devise means by 
which the charges of governing the country could be met 
from legitimate sources, without having recourse to measures 
so immoral and so unrighteous as the opium traffic." 

(Signed) Jogon Mohon Rot, 
Deputy Collector {retired). 

My next visit, in company with Mr. A. C. Das, was to 
the head teacher of a Government Normal School. He testi- 
fied to the fact that opium was not talsen in Orissa to ward 
off fever, or to cure fever, and that most parts of Orissa were 
not malarious. His name is Babu Modhu Shudhan Rao. 
I was referred when I was in Cnttack to Sir Romesh 
Chnnder Mitter, who lately retired from the position of 
Judge of the High Court in Calcutta. That gentleman 
has on several occasions gone to Cnttack to improve his own 
health and that of his family. On, my return to Calcutta, I 
had an interview with him, and I spoke to him with regard 
to this point. In a letter to Mr. Alexander, dated Bhowani- 
pur, 26th November 1893, after speaking of his visits to 
Outtack, and the benefit he and his family always derived, 
he says :— Having a very favourable opinion regarding the 
salubritv of Cultack climate,*! advised a relative of mine, 
who had been suffering here from the affection of the liver 
accompanied by high fever to try Cuttack. He took my 
advice, and went there. He shook off the fever in a shoi-t 
time and, after staying there for about four months, 
returned to Calcutta completely restored to health. During 
my stay on these occasions, I heard from several gentlemen 
that residents of Lower Bengal suffering from repeated 
attacks of malarions fever, get well there within a short 
time. Cnttack is much drier than Lower Bengal, and, I 
believe, is free from malaria. Would you be kind enough 
to hand over this note to Mr. Morison." 

4299. In what way do you connect the letter which yon 
have read from Sir Romesh Chnnder Mitter with this 
enquiry P — As corroborating the evidence that I have read 
to you that Orissa generally is not malarious. That is the 
point. It has been asserted again and again that Orissa 
is intensely malarious, and that the excessive consump- 
tion of opium there is due to its malarious climate. I 
have also the evidence of Mr. Maomillan, who was for over 
thirty years Executive Engineer of Orissa. In answer to my 
questions, he said : — " I was Executive Engineer of Orissa 
for over thirty years ; but I am now retired from Govern- 
ment service, and living in Cuttack. I have travelled over 
every part of Orissa, at all seasons, and along the low-lying 
coast line as well as in the higher plains towards the hills. 
I had charge of all the Public Works in the District, and 
many of the roads and bridges were designed and executed 
by me. I constructed that large break-water you saw on 
the river as you approached Cuttack in the steamer. I have 
come to know the people and their habits well. I know 
the malarious parts, but Orissa is not considered malarious 
by those who live here. During all these forty years I have 
never had fever except once, and then not very severely. In 
all my intercourse with the people I have never heard them 
say that they took opium as a prophylatic, and I am sure 
they do not use it either to cure or ward off fever. I have 
heard some say that they began it for rheumatism. The 
habit here is merely a vice. I can remember two instances 
when the habit, alter long continuance, was abandoned. One, 
a good workman, a mechanic, who was called ' pagol ' or 
fool by the others on account of the effect of opium upon 
him. He was unreliable, although naturally a good work- 
man. He dreamt a dream and on that account, so he said, 
gave np the habit. Soon after leaving off the habit he 
became a steady and industrious workman, and began to 
look quite different in appearance ; even the very color of hi& 
face was changed ; he looked fairer and became sensible and 



MINUTES OP EVIDENCE. 



]03 



reliable. The second man was a merchant, and was also 
called _ 'pagol' or fool on account of his manner from 
excessive opium-eating. He had neglected his business, and 
thmgs were going to the bad; but he left it off and became 
a competent aud prosperous man." 

4300. I may also state that while I was in Cuttaok there 
was a meeting of the Total Abstinence Soiiety of Cuttack. 
1 happened to be present, and I was asked to" speak a few 
words. The meeting was a crowded one. 1 nhould 
say there were between eight and nine hundred people 
present. I put tlie following resolution to the meeting, and 
it was unanimously adopted:—" At a public meeting of the 
Total Abstinence Society of Cuttack, convened on the subject 
of Total Abstinence from intoxicating liquors and drugs, we 
hear with surprise that the cause of opium-eating and 
smoking, so prevalent in Orissa, is due to malaria. We 
believe tLe habit to be due to bad example, so contagious 
in evil, and we have never heard of opium being used 
either to prevent the influence of malaria or to cure an 
attack of malarious fever in Orissa." Then, again, the 
liaptist M issiiinaries, who have a very large Mission in 
Orissa, happened also to be assembled at the time of my 
visit. 1 naturally looked to them to give some expression 
of opinion in regard to this point. 'Ihe following Resolu- 
tion was passed: — "We, the Baptist IVlissionaries from 
various parts of Orissa, at present in conference assembled, 
hereby re-affirm what we have hitherto acted upon, that 
opium-eaters or smokers are not eligible for baptism or 
admission into Church Fellowship in any of our churf hjs 
scattered throughout Orissa." The conference really repre- 
sented a Christian community of three to four thousand 
members. 

4301. You have dealt with your experience in Lower 
Bengal and your visit to Orissa; is there any other point 
you would like to bring befoie us ? — 1 should rather 
like to discuss the question as to whetlier malaria is a real 
cause of the excessive consumption of opium in Orissa. 
That this theory has been accepted by the Government of 
India will be proved from the following extract from the 
Blue Book " Consumption of Opium in India," which is 
known to the members of the Commission. 

In a Despatch, dated 14th October 1891, the following 
sentence occurs : — " We regard the general facts about 
Bengal as on the whole satisfactory, when the enormous 
area and population are considered, and when further it is 
recognised how large a proportion of the area consists of 
alluvial, malarious tracts in which the use of opium by the 
people is not a vice, or even a luxury, but to some extent a 
necessity of life." 

4302. (Mr. Fanshawe.) Does that include Orissa? — Ben- 
gal generally. 

4303. {Chairman.) Have youaiiything fui-ther to say ? — 
I should like to mention that I had occasion to bring this 
matter before the Anti-Opium Society. Adiscussion was 
held on " The Medical Aspects of the Opium question," on 
the 31st May, 1892.' I wish to put in the pamphlet in. 
which that discussion is reported as evidence, and I will 
quote from it in order to show what I consider to be 
the weak points of this theory of malaria accounting for 
the excessive consumption of opium in certain districts 
in India. In that discussion I stated :— " The first asser- 
tion afifirms that the excessive consumption of opium in 
Assam and Orissa is due to the fact that these parts are 
more malarious than other parts of India, and that it is 
taken as a prophylactic by the poor ryots. There are 
three outstanding facts which prove, to me at least, that 
the above theory is not the true one. Many districts in 
Bengal, which are more malarious than Orissa and Assam, 
do not' consume opium in .anything like the proportion of 
these oft-quoted districts, I instance the district of Raj- 
shahye, some paints of , which have been depopulated by 
malaria ; yet opium, thoiigh known, is not largely consum- 
ed in that district as a whole. The excessive consumption 
of opium »■« not confined to malarious tracts, which it 
would be if the malarial thedry was true, either as regards 
India or China. In both these countries people, living in 
parts comparatively free from malaria, are excessive con- 
sumers of opium. High above the malarial zone, in China 
and India, where malaria is endemioally unknown, opium is 
(fonsumed to excess. In such places as Simla— the highest 
town in the Himalaya range— we find the habit establish- 
ed, aud the drug consumed to excess. It seems clear from 
these facts, which I can only merely mention, that whatever 
cause or causes have brought about the excessive consump- 
tion of opium in Assam and Orissa, it is not malaria aloue. 
We must look a little more closely at these malarious 
tracts, and find a cause or causes, which are equally applica- 
ble to other parts of India, very different in climate, race, 
social habits, and religious restrictions. If we glance back 



over the history of opium cultivation, we learn that it 
was formerly cultivated in these very districts of Assam 
and Orissa, where it is now so excessively consumed." 

In the " Return of an article on 0|iium, by Dr. Watt, 
Eeporter on Economic Products with the Government of 
India, recently written by him, and intended to be published 
in the 6th Volume of the Dictionary of Economic Pro- 
ducts of India," (which I believe has been handed in to 
the Commission), Dr. Watt states, at page2i! : — " At length, 
in 1873, an end was put to all disputes by the Governor 
of Bengal (Warren Hastings), who assumed, on behalf of 
the English East India Company, a monopoly of all the 
opium produced in Bengal, Behar, and Orissa." On page 
20 this sentence occurs : — " That it was once on a time 
cultivated there" (that is on the Coromandel Coast) "as 
well as in Orissa and Bengal generally, there can be no 
doubt, for we have the East Inilia Company's orders that 
its cultivation should be restricted to Patna and Henares. 
Doubtless the danger to the community, and the diflSuulty 
in preventing illicit transactions with a widespread, almost 
promiscuous, cultivation, must have forced on the Direc- 
tors of the Honourable Company the necessity for confin- 
ing the traffic within narrow limits, where fiscal restric- 
tions could be brought to bear on it." In my speech in 
the discussion I have referred to, I further say : — " The 
dangers to the community which they dreaded were real 
dangers — dangers with which the cultivation of opium 
have ever been associated in India — the demoralisation of 
the ryot, and the forming of habits of opium-eating by 
the community." I do not wish to quote any more from 
this pamphlet which I put in. I will conclude by saying 
that my experience and my evidence from Orissa enable me 
to say that the following poir^ts, so far as Orissa is con- 
eerned, have been proved: — That Oiissa generally, instead 
of being a hot-bed of malaria, is a kind of sanitarium for 
Bengal, where those who can afford to do so go to get rid 
of Bengal malaria, and are not disappointed. That opium 
is not taken in Orissa as a prophylactic, for the people do 
not know the antiperiodie propei-ties of the drug, nor do they 
need it for malaria. That opium is never taken by the 
people themselves to cure fever. That the opium-eaters, 
who are saturated with the " prophylactic," are at least as 
liable to fever as others. That the use of opium is looked 
upon as a, curse by all intelligent natives of Orissa who 
have the welfare of their people at heart. That the Balasore 
District, where the cultivation was carried on, as might be 
expected, is the most deeply tainted with the vice. 

4304. (Mr. Wilson.) You have mentioned that you were 
a member of the municipality of the town in which you 
reside P — That is so. 

4305. How were you appointed to that position ? — I wag 
nominated by the Government of Bengal. 

4306. Are yon acquainted with a book on malaria by 
Dr. Russell, who has been a witness before this Commis- 
sion ? — I am. 

4307. Is there anything in that hook which either con- 
firms or contradicts the views you have put before us p — I 
think there are passages in that book which confirm my 
views. 

4308. Will you refer to them, and give us your opinion 
about them ? — In speaking of the opium-eater, he says, at 
page 37 : " The opium-eater enjoys consideiable immu- 
nity from malarial affections in the early stage, the first 
few years of indulgence in the habit, before the organic 
visceral changes are set up, and the general shattering of 
constitution results, which prematurely break down Jhe 
consumer of opium and render him an easy prey to diseases 
of every kind." He then goes on to say : " In the plains 
of Assam this habit is almost universal. In this district 
the writer has made a series of exact observations on the 
prevalence of this habit, among the large circulating 
population of the jail. He finds that nearly four-fifths of 
the men of the plains, who enter jail, are more or less addict- 
ed to this habit, consuming from five grains to three drachms 
of the drug daily. On the other hand, he has never yet in 
seven years met with a hill man who was an opium-eater. 
They are usually spirit-drinkers. The prevalence of this 
habit is the curse of our jail populations in Lower Assam. 
No work can be got out of the long confirmed opium-eater. 
He can digest nothing but light food, milk or soups. On 
ordinary diet he suffers from diarrhoea, tending to rapidly run 
to dysentery. His system has very slight heat-making power, 
he is extremely susceptible to any changes of temperature, 
and cannot stand cold ; he is thus especially liable to both 
chest and bowel disorders. Again and again he inay ba 
nursed, by a system of milk diet, gradually on to ordinary 
food, again and again he recurs to hospital, suffering from 
diarrhoea, dysentery, or dyspepsia. The emaciation of the 
opium-eater is characteristic and ejitreme. Eventually, after 



Dr. D. 

Morison. 

29 Kov. 1893. 



101 



INDIAN OPIUM C0M^tISS[O^f 



Dr. D. 

Mori son. 



Ud Xc 



1893. 



haviiio; been a soui-ce of iufinite care, after repeated courses 
of medical and dietary treatment, after having caused large 
expenditure in sick diet, extras, etc., he perishes, usually of 
a chest or bowel disorder, or perhaps from practical starva- 
tion, from eventual iu?.bility tn dis^est any kind of food, 
even the lightest and most delicate. On post-mortem exa- 
mination, all the viscera are usually found wasted and 
anaemic, except the liver, whiuh is commonly large, pale, 
and very fatty." 

4309. Do you think that supports your view ? — It does 
entirely. 

4310. Do yon wish to say any more with reference to 
that book ? — There are other passages I might quote from 
it, that go to support my views in tlie matter. 

4311. Were you present when Dr. Russell gave his evi- 
dence p — I was. 

4312. Did you hear his explanation of that ? — Yes, I 
heard him state tliat he referred to the " opium sot," but 
tlie word here is " opium-eater." Four-fifths of the people 
in jail could hardly be opium Kots. He says " Nearly 
four-fifths of the men of the plains who enter jail are more 
or less addicted to this habit, consuming from five grains 
to tliree diams of the drug dail}'." 

4313. Is there anything in the context which would 
lead the ordinary reader to suppose that it relates to 
opium sots ? — I tliink not, because he calls opium " the 
cuise of the Assam jails." 

4314. Can you give us the date of the memorandum 
which you quote here, signed by Jogon Mohon Rny, 
the retired Deputy CoUectoi? — It was written two or three 
days before my arrival, with the object, as I undei'stood, of 
being presented to this Commission, in some form or otber. 

4315. You have given us the account of several state- 
ments and conversations which you had on a recent occasion 
on jour way to Cutt.ick, with reference to this matter. I 
must apologise for asking you this question, but I think I 
must do so : did you hear any evidence of a contrary 
character?— I did not. I heard expressions from Europeans 
on the steamer that the difbculty of revenue was the great 
question, and that they had no sympathy whatever with 
this agitation against the opium traffic. 

4316. You have been strenuously combating the doc- 
trine of the connection of malaria with the consumption 
of opium P— Yes, I have. 

4317. Can you give us any information as to the time 
that doctrine first arose? — I cannot exactly state who first 
started the theory ; but it is only within recent years that 
it has come before the public : 1 think it was coincident 
with the agitation against opium. 

4318. (Mr. Moiobray.) I understand that you have been 
in Beiigal for sixteen years p — Yes, excluding my two visits 
to England. 

4319. What sized place is Rampore P What is its popu- 
lation?— It is a town of 20,000 inhabitants, and it is the 
admiuistrative head-quarters of the district of Kajshahye. 

4320. Are you speaking from your experience of the 
town, or of the town and surrounding districts ?— Of both ; 
my experience extends to the whole district. 

4321. What would be the ponuLition of the surrounding 
districts p— The population of the whole district of Hajsliahje 
is somewhat about one million five hundred thousand, but 
I cannot give you the exact figures. 

4322. Rampore is in the same part of India as Murshi- 
dabad, is it not? — Yes, on the opposite side of the river. 

4323. Will it be described as being in the same district 
as Mursbidabad? — No. 

4324. Adjoining? — The Ganges separates them. 

4325. Since you have been there, have you devoted your 
attention largely to this subject of opium p— Only within 
the last four years. 

4326. Then the evidence which you have given us to-day 
from your own peisonal knowledge is based on four years' 
experience p — It is not ; it is based on the experience 
extending over my whole term of service in Rajshabye. 

4327. I thought you told me that your attention had 
only been directed to this subject four years ago P — I should 
have said that it was specially directed to it about four 
years a>;o. 

4328. Do you remember your friend Mr. Donald Mathe- 
son, the Chairman of the Committee of the Anti-Opium 
Society, writing a letter to the Times in 1889, in which he 
referred to some letters wliioh he had had from you p — Yes. 

4329. This is what he says— "I wrdteto Dr. RIorison, the 
excellent medical missionary, who has been in charge of the 



station for the last twelve years. His first reply was to the 
effect that he knew very little about it, but would make 
enquiries ; " that is what y(ju now substantially say, that 
it is only about four years ago that you began to make en- 
quiries P — That is so. 

4330. You have told us also that some further control 
should be exercised over the sale of opium : I should like 
to know what you mean by further control than what exists 
at present : in what direction do you think that_ control 
should be exercised p— I think it would be for the interests 
of the community at large, that the quantity of opium 
procurable by any person should be very much reduced, I 
should say, to non-poisonous doses. 

4331. What would you call a non-poisonous dose P— Un- 
der four grains. 

4332. What is the present amount that anybody can 
purchase in Rampore P — I understand that it is about five 
tolas : I am not quite certain, but I think that is the 
amount. 

4333. Is it the case that within, the last twelve months, 
the amount has been reduced from five tolas to one tola ?— 
No, I am not aware of that. 

4331. You would wish to go a good deal further than 
that?— Yes, I would make it difficult for a person to obtain 
opium, except for very necessary purposes. 

4335. How would you define " very necessary pur- 
poses P" — Medicinal to begin with. 

4336. How would you define " medicinal p " — Opium 
taken for the alleviation of bodily suffering. 

4337. We have been told in evidence, by some witnesses 
who have appeared before us, that a large nnmber_ take 
opium as a domestic remedy, for the alleviation of paia : is 
that in your view a medicinal taking of opium p — It is. 

4338. With that you would not interfere? — I would 
not. I would simply guard against the abuse of that. 

4339. From the evidence which other witnesses have 
given, you are no doubt aware that the amount taken by 
these people medicinally, in that sense of the .vord, is far 
largerthan two grains? — Yes. because they are opium-eiters. 
They have become accustomed to it. 

4340. In your opinion, we may take it, that for medici- 
nal purposes, as a domestic remedy, a dose of two grains 
would be sufficient ? — Yes. To begin with, that certainly 
would be a large quantity. I should say, to be^in with, a 
half or a quarter of a grain would be the proper amount. 

4311. I am not speaking of beginning. I am speaking 
of the maximum limit you would propose, with regard to 
the restriction of the sale P -I would guard it in this way : 
that those who are eating opium at the present time should 
not be deprived of it, and in order that they should receive 
what is necessary itor them, they, of course, should be 
allowed to have larger quantities ; but it should be known 
.by those who are in charge of the shop that those persons 
are habitual consumers of opium. For those people there 
should be an exception made undoubtedly. 

4342. Do you think, from your practical experience of 
the country, that it would be possible to vest that dis- 
cretionary power in any persons selling opium P — I think it 
would be quite possible. I cannot go into details, but I 
see no difficulty in it. I think the Government could do it 
quite easily if they chose to give their attention to it. 

4343. In order to apportion the amount of opium that 
any person was entitled to buy to the quantity which he 
had been in the habit of consuming, you would require, 
would j-ou not, a very large number of people to be em- 
ployed in that distribution ? — I think not, 

4344. Would it be possible for any small number of 
people to have sufficient personal knowledge of the appli- 
cants? — Yes, if certain shops were place 1 at certain centres, 
in a very short time the shopman would be able to know 
all his customers. I do not think there would be any difii- 
culty iu that. I am speaking of Bengal. 

4345. I do not wish to ask you anything except with 
regard to your own personal experience. How many shops 
are there in Rampore P — I think there are three or four. 

4346. Do you think that it would be possible for three 
or four people to have a sufficient knowledge of their cus- 
tomers to be able to say to one man, " you may have one 
grain," and another man, " you may have two grains P " — I 
think so. 

4347. Without risk or serious abuse?— I think there 
would be no difficulty in a man recognising and knowing 
his customers if they were first registered. If they came 
to him to be registered, he would have no difficulty in know- 
ing them. 



MINl'TES OF EVIDHNCE, 



105 



4348. Now you have put in sometbing you never suggest- 
ed before : .vou mention a legistcrp— I am not prepared to 
go into details; but I think iu some parts o£ India a 
register would be necessary. 

4349. Is not tbe difficulty in dealing with this matter, 
really a difficulty of detail P — It is entirely a difficulty of 
detail, therefore I do not wish to go into detail. 

4350. It is very easy to say generally that a thing should 
be prohibited, or tliat more control slioiild be exercised, but 
is it not necessary, before you say that, to think out the 
details before that could be controlled ? — Tliat is true gene- 
rally. Undoubtedly one slinuld ihink out as many of the 
detiiils as one can. I liave thouj;ht out some, but I am not 
prepared to lay them befoie the Uomniission, becau.-e 1 do not 
think that stage has arrivtd; but generally, 1 think that 
there would be no difficulty in manipulating the details of 
such a system o£ controlling opium-selling in Loner Ben- 
gal. 

4351. Your view is that the maximum limit which 
should he provided for any person should be reduced to a 
very small quantity P — Any person who is not accustomed 
to opium. 

4352. That it should he reduced tn a very small quantity, 
and that discretionary powers shonld be vested iu those who 
distribute the opium, -and that they should know in some 
way who was a habitual smoker, and who was, therefore, 
entitled to have a larger dose : is that a fair summary of 
your recommendation? — I think thut is what I mean. 

4353. [Mr. Fanshnwe. ) Speaking from personal experi- 
ence, you have Buid that theie was no knowledge in Hajshahye 
of the uee of opium as a prophylactic? — None whatever. 

4354. You say that it is known as a domestic remedy ? — 
Yes. 

4355. Is it not so known in connection with fever (with- 
out using the word propliy lactic) as enabling a man to with- 
stand chills or pains caused by chills? — I liave never heard 
of it used in th:it way. I bave known it used sometimes 
for rheumatism and other pains that migbt arise. 

4356. Not connected with chills, ague or fever? — -Not 
with chills. For rheumatism I have a^ain and again heard 
it spoken of, and very often tor syphilitic rheumatism. 

4357. You have not heard of it being used ia connection 
with fever? — I have not. 

4358. You said that opium is always considered disgrace- 
ful; is that quite what you intend to say, even wneu it is 
used by elderly men ? — I do not think 1 made that statement 
in regard to elderly men. 

4359. You do not mean it to apply to elderly men p — No, 
because putilic opinion among Hindus and Maliomedans 
is tliat elderly people wlio are failing iu health from various 
causes may take opium without being considered to be 
addicted to a very demoralising habit. 

4360. You also mentioned the habit of taking opium 
among the young men in the Kajshahye district. Did I 
gather that that was very unusual ? — I think that is very 
unusual. I meant rather in regard to smoking. 

4361. Is there now any shop in Eampore for the sale of 
chandu and madat ?— I am not aware of any chandu 
shops ; there are three for the sale of madat. 

4362. You also said that there was a distinct tendency 
to increase the dose on the part of people addicted to the 
opium habit P — I hat is my deliberate opinion. 

4363. Is it not the case that a number of these older 
men go on for long periods without increasing the dose to a 
point that does them any injury P— I think when they take 
it not for any pain, the tendency to increase it is not so very 
great ; but "when they take it for rheumatic pain or pains 
of any kind, and tbe pains aie not lemoved or kept in sub- 
jection, tbeie is a tendency to increase tlie dose, 

4364. May we take it that generally in these cases the 
liabit does not go on to an inordinate use of opium so as to 
do injury to the healtb ?-I would not say that it does not 
interfere with tbe health. 1 believe there is a certain 
miiount of influence upon the health. It is not very marked 
in some cases, but in long-confirmed cases it does become 
marked. 

4365. Is it not a question of quantity; when ar. increased 
dose is taken it ma^ not affect the health if it does not go 
to an escessive dose P— It is my experience that they usual- 
ly do go to excess ultimately. 



4366. Even in the case of men who begin later in life? — 
Yes. What I mean is that they usually go to five or six 
grains. 

4367. But would that he excess as regards their own indi- 
vidual health ? — .Vly opinion is that a man cannot be an 
opium-eater without sufieiing in health, be he young or old. 

4368. Do you thiiik it would make any real difference in 
the number of suicides if opium were not available?— I 
think it would. 

4369. You are aware that in Bengal suicides are com- 
mon, and that there are many other modes of committing 
suicide P — Yes, 1 am aware of that. 

4370. Then how would you apply that knowledge that 
there are many other means of suicide available and oidi- 
naiily used P — 1 would apply it in this way. If a man was 
a cutler and left bis razors about his room and his 
children took to cutting their throats, I should consider 
that that man ought to move his razors out of the way. 
Opium has been such a prolific cause of suicide that a 
paternal government should remove it from tbe reach 
of the people. 

4371. When you say a prolific cause of suicide, are you 
speaking of the Raj shahye district P — I have no statistics ; 
I am speaking of India generally. 

4372. In what part of India is it such a prolific source of 
suicide ? — I have heard that Calcutta is one, and Eajputana 
another, and tbe opium-growing district of Oya, and other 
places. 

4373. How would this fact affect your opinion, that in 
last year's Police report for the Lower Provinces, it is 
stated that in tbe district of Nuddea, 142 women committed 
suicide, and in every case death was due to hanging? — Pro- 
bably opium was not at hand, or they would not have 
hanged themselves. 

4374. Are there not always means available for suicide ? — 
it is my opinion, and I think the opinion of the native 
public generally, that opium should not be so easily obtain- 
able for suicidal purposes. 

4375. In referring to Native opinion are you speaking of 
what has come within your own knowledge? — From my 
intercourse with the natives, which is pretty consider- 
able. 

4376. (Mr. Wilson.) Mr. Mowbray asked you what was 
a poisonous dose, and I think you said four grains ? — Four 
grains is the usual dose mentioned in text-books. 

4377. Does that mean a fatal doseP— Yes, there are no 
doubt exceptions where individuals can take larjjer doses, 
but generally, I think, four or five grains is considered fatal. 

4378. Of course yoa mean in the case of persons entirely 
unaccustomed to its use ? — Yes. 

4379. (Mr. Mowhray.) How many grains are there to a 
tola ? — I cannot tell ; about 180, I should say, but 1 do not 
know exactly. 

4380. (Chairman^ You have clearly given us your views 
with reference to- the opium habit : may I ask whether you 
draw an3' parallel or see any analogy between the opium 
habit and the drinking of alcohol P — Yes ; I think they 
are both sources of great evil in the world. 

4381. You would not recommend the use of alcohol as 
an ordinary article of diet? — Yes, if it was necessary ; as a 
medical man, I certainly would. 

4382. You would recommend it for medical use P — For 
medical use. 

4383. But not as an ordinaiy article or diet?— Not 
usually — not in the case of a person in ordinary health. 

4384. To a person in ordinar-y health would you recom- 
mend abstinence from alcohol ? —Not absolutely. Circum- 
stances would modify my views— the constitution of the 
individual and other factors that migbt enter into any 
judijment that I should form. I do not think 1 can put 
it more clearly. I could not possibly state a general view 
upon the question. I am a total abstainer myself, but I 
do not in the least suggest that alcohol in its many forms 
may not be and is not beneficial. 1 know that in a great 
many cases it is most beneficial. 

4385. Still you would regard it as useful rather as a 
medicine than as an ordinary article of indulgence ? — Yes. 
The dangers that surround it to the coinmuuity I think 
would make me careful not to encourage a young man 
to begin the use of the article. 



Dr. D. 

Morison. 

29 Nov. 1893. 



The witness withdrew. 



o 



106 



INDIAN OflUM COMMISSION: 



Dr. G 

Fe rri 

29 Xov 



-K, 



Dr. Gbobge Eichmond PEEnis called iu and examined. 



4386. [Chairman.) Will you m:ike a general statement 
1893. of your piot'essional position and of youi- views as to the 
question with which this Commission has been appointed 
to deal ? — 

I am a Member of the Eoyal College of Surgeons of Eng- 
land, and have been iu Indiii 40 years. 

Prom early in the year 1856, I have been in private 
practice iu Calcutta as IMedical Officer connected with the 
dispensary known as Messrs. E. Scott Thomson & Co. 
I have, therefore, had nearly 38 years of experience in this 
country. During tlie whole of this period I have liad daily 
to attend to the ailments and prescribe for all classes of 
p.atients, Europeans, Eurasians, and niitives from all the 
Indian provinces, as Burmese, Heiigalese, up-couutry men, 
Punjabis, Afghans, Gnykhas, Sikhs, and indeed men of all 
castes, riices and religions. This large practice lias made me 
familiar with Indian diseases and the habits and customs of 
the ptople, and, among other things, has drawn my attenthm 
to the habit o£ opium-eating. I have had no experience of 
opium-smoking except that many years ago I visited an 
opium den. In that den I found a mixed lot of men, but 
they were all orderly, respectful, and in possession of all 
their I'aculties. Very early in my practice, I noticed that 
many patients were opium-eaters. .My attention was first 
called, early in 1854, to this habit, when, as Surgeon in tbo 
Hor.ourable E ist India Compiiny's Bengal Marine, I had 
medical charge of troops and followers being transported 
between Calcutta and Burma. On a voyage in the Honour- 
able Company's S. S. Tenasserim, carrying a large number 
of Sikhs, who exhibited a special immunity from sea-.^ick- 
uess, this appeared, con-Jderino; the weather, so unusual and 
so peculiar, that I made inquiries, and to my astonishment 
I found that these men, who, I also noticed, took but very 
small quantities of food, were all opium-eaters. From that 
time I have never ceased, in the course of my practice, to 
investigate, sn far as my oppjitunities allowed, the opium 
habit and the effect of opium on those who use it. Before 
goini; further, I may say I bave never known Turkey opium 
to be used by an opium-eater, and I should regard four grains 
of such opium as a dangerous dose, that is, pure Turkey opium. 
The opium, which I have known to be eaten by my patients, 
is Bengal opium, and as to this class of the drug, I shonld 
consider pure opium in eight grains to be dangerous, — that 
is, eight grains in one dose. When the habit is commenced, 
usually one pice worth of 0|>ium is purchased. This is about 
four grains, and I may mention that this rate of sale has, 
so far as I know, not varied in all my experience. At the 
beginning, the onium-eater will divide his one pice worth in 
various ways, taking the dose morning and evening ; the 
maximum do-e being taken in the evening. After a time 
he may increase the quantity to six grains, and even eight 
grains, but I have noticed that a man will continue to take 
the same quantity dady for a very long time. There are 
oases where the quantity taken may be as much as twelve, 
and even sixteen, grains per day, but this I regard as ex- 
treme and connected with some special disease — it may be 
diabete-i — against which the patient is combating. In one 
case, which has recently been befoie me, a native, remark- 
able for his intelligence and physique, but suffering from 
diabetes, actually got up to fortj'-five gi-ains of extract of 
opium per day. The effect he desired having beenproduced, 
he is reducing the quantity. No one would be able to tell 
from that man's appearance, from his conversation, or his 
business aptitude, that he was an extreme opium-eater. It 
is a common rule with me to ask my native patients if they 
take opium, and in this way I have become acquainted with 
a great many circumstances not ordinarily known to medical 
men in connection with the opium habits and with its effects 
upon diseases. Generally, I may say that it has never made 
any difference in my treatment whether the patient took opi- 
um or not. I have not found opium deleterious in its use or 
interfere with the exhibition of any other drug. I have 
not found opium taken as a habit productive of any disease. 
I have not found it induce emaciation or dulling of the 
mental faculties or a withering of the tissues or of the 
patient's physical strength. I do not know of an instance 
of what may be called an opium drunkard from the eating of 
opium, though there may be opium drunkenness as the 
result of excessive smoking, especially if the opium he 
adulterated, hut no such case has come under my observa- 
tion. My experience of ohandu and bhang is so small that 
I must refrain from expressing any opinion as to their 
elfects. As a rule, the opium habit is not common to young 
men ; hut I have to point out that, when for any cause 
whatever, young men have taken to opium, they become in 
a marked and peculiar manner protected, so to speak, against 



diabetes and dysentery — that is, against two diseases which 
are, so far as my experience goes, the most fearful scourges 
and the most feared and dreaded by all natives of this 
province, and indeed by all natives of India with whom I 
have been brought into contact. I have noted that a great 
deal is due to the food common to the people of India, the 
Hindus particularly, whose main food is rich iu starch. 
The iMahomedans, who take more animal food, are not so 
prone to diabetes as their Hindu neighbours, but all natives 
suffer enormously from the effect of iioor food, damp, cold, 
and exposure inevitable from their ordinary avocations. It 
is very remarkable amongst the poorer classes as proof that 
opium prevents a waste of tissues— that an opium-eater can 
do with much less food than a man not given to the habit ; 
and this being so, it may possibly be that the poverty of the 
man may maintain the habit at a given minimum as to 
quantity, say 4 grains per day. Besides dysentery, natives 
suffer from a variety of intestinal complaints and from 
the results of malarial poisoning. I have noticed that 
in such cases the patient invariably seeks relief from opium ; 
and I hate also noticed that when opium-eaters are subject- 
ed to the same malarial influences as iionopium-eaters 
in cases where such remedies as quinine and arsenic 
and other preparations would b? useles.s, the opium- 
eaters enjoy an immunity which is remarkable when con- 
trasted with the condition of non-opium-eaters in exactly 
the same circumstances. I have never hesitated in cases 
coming before me to recommend my patients to continue 
it, and I have found that where natives have come tome 
suffering atrociously from the effects of alcohol, and I have 
been able to substitute opium for the alcoholic habit, the 
patient has recovered his status in society exactly in the 
same proportion as the substitution of opium for alcohol has 
been less or more complete. This I consider « very note- 
worthy fact to the credit of the opium habit. So far as I 
can judge, crime is very rarely met with amongst opium- 
eaters. I can never tell an opium-eater by casually look- 
ing at him ; his habits and his appearance will not guide 
me. Of course I should know if I examined him for this par- 
ticular matter. I find that opium-eaters are healthy men, 
and their muscular development is good, and that mentally 
and bodily they contrast favourably with non-opium-eaters. 
The conclusion I have been obliged to come to is that in ii 
country like India, having regard to the habits of the peo- 
ple, the character of their avocations, the peculiarities of the 
climate, and t'ne particular character of their food, opium 
is distinctly beneticial — that it is not harmful, that it is 
not a vice, that it does nut promote in any way immorality, 
that it doe< not increase but distinctly decreases mortality, 
and that without it the vital returns of many parts of the 
country would be simply appalling. My experience is that 
men, as a rule, with rare exceptions, will resort to either a 
stimulant or sedative, and as far as Europeans are concerned, 
the majority use a stimulant ; natives are so constituted that 
when they resort to stimulants they do so to a decree 
almost incredible to ordinary European experience, and 
the extreme way in which they indulge renders them, 
as native reformers continually urge, pests of society 
and dangerous to themselves and all about them. Opium, 
on the other hand, because it is a sedative, absolutely pre- 
vents them from becoming obnoxious in anv way. I am 
convinced that the native will have one or the other, the 
sedative or the stimulant. If the Government prevents the 
resort to the sedative, then we must expect to find the weal- 
thier classes giving themselves up to the more refined forms 
of alcohol produced by Europe ; while the poorer classes 
will develop n very wide use of native rum, arrack and 
spirits, and the result will be widespread vice, misery, crime, 
and an increased mortality, at the very idea of which I, as a 
medical man, stand aghast. No doubt distillers here and in 
Europe would look not to the effects to be produced, but to 
the profits which such a tremendous demand would yield; 
but I doubt if Government can take this view ; and, as a 
man who knows something of India and its people, who has 
learned to take a strong interest in their welfare, and who 
has a stake in the i)rosperity of the country, I deprecate such 
wholesale degradation as this would be ; and, as I cannot 
imagine a cheap, a good, and a harmless substitute for 
opium, I am as convinced, as any one can be, that it should 
be let alone, and that it has been not only a necessity, but I 
would even go to the length of saying, a blessing to the 
people. 

4387. I gather from the statement yon have made that 
you are in private practice here ?— I have been in private 
practice for- 38 years within a month or two. I have been 
40 years in India without leaving the country for a siugle 
day. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



107 



4388. You are in private practice, as distinguished from 
members of jour profession who are in Government 
employ ?— Yes. When I left the Government employment 
wi''^^ ^^06 I joined my partner (at whose solicitation I 
lett Government service) in private practice in April 1856. 
From that time I have not ceased practising in Calcutta. 

4389. So that your experience as presented to us is that 
oi an independent practitioner ?— Perfectly so. 

4390. (Sir William Soherts.) You have given a very 
full account of your opinion with regard to the opium 
habit. Have you ever endeavoured to divide the effects of 
opium into the anodyne or hypnotic effect which we value 
medicinally and those other effects that opium-eaters expe- 
rience ?— I have not gone into its separate effects as a se- 
dative or hypnotic. I have simply taken the effect on the 
opium-eater. As a medical man I sometimes give opium as 
a hypnotic ; that is a different thing. 

4391. Of course you recognise the opium-eater as having 
a sort of tolerance for the drug ? — Yes. 

4392. You do not recognise that the susceptibility of the 
opium-eater to the anodyne powers of opium is altered ; he 
is still susceptible to the medicinal effects of opium as an 
anodyne P — Certainly. 

4393. What has been your experience with regard to the 
increase of the dose ? We have been told again and ajjain 
by certain witnesses that there is an inevitable tendency 
among opium-eaters to increase the dose ? — The word "inevi- 
table" is misplaced. I know persons who have been opium- 
eaters for at least 20 years, and they are now taking tlie 
same dose as they did when they first consulted mc ; so that 
it is not inevitable. There may be opium-eaters who have 
begun the habit by the inducement of their friends or gome 
other cause of that kind, not for any particular ailment. 
Those are the men who increase the dose. A man at first 
buys a pice worth and perhaps divides it into two days, bnt 
he may go on gradually, as I have said, up to six or eight 
grains, which I look upon in the great majority of cases — 99 
per cent. — to be a maximum. 

4391. That is the limit of tolerance? — Not the limit of 
tolerance, because they tnke it with perfect impunity, but 
they may go on to very large doses. We know that even 
among the Europeans by gradual use the tolerance becomes 
much greater. 

4895. I presume also that there is a very great difference 
io individuals in regard to their tolerance ? — Certainly. 

4396. Have you ever seen anything like that tolerance 
among the European residents in Calcutta P — Very rarely. 
I have had several cases, but the percentage is very 
small. 

4397. To what do you attribute the marked difference 
between the opium-eating habit among Bnropeans and the 
same habit amongst the natives of Calcutta p — The Euro- 
peans as a rule are considered healthy ; they have means at 
their disposal, and can afford to buy stimulants. 

4398. You mean alcohol P— Yes. The native is so poor 
that although he may be able to spend one pice iu a day 
or two days, or even two pice a day, that would buy very 
little alcohol ; so he takes to the sedative from poverty. 

4390. Th.'it applies to poor natives, but we have evidence 
before us that the habit is diffused amongst the rich as 
well as amongst the poor? — Yes. The opium began with 
the natives before stimulants were known to any excess in 
India. I cannot go back, but I fiincy that opium was 
eaten long before stimulants were generallj' known amongst 
the natives. 

4400. Taking persons in easy circumstances, — Europeans 
and say the Marwavis here — how do yon account for the dif- 
ference — the Marwaris becoming opium-eaters and the 
Europaans not ? — The Marwaris who take opium are a pecu- 
liarly satisfied, docile, quiet, harmless set of men ; but if they 
took stimulants, it would be otherwise. 

4401. You do not see my point. I want, if possible, as 
a scientific enquirer, some key to the fact that Europeans 
do not, except in rare instances, become opium-eaters, while 
tlie people of India, as we hear, commonly or frequently 
become opium-eaters ; have you thought of that P — The 
European has more means at his disposal, and if he has 
any ailment he will consult a European doctor, who will not 
make an opium-eater of him. There are very few natives 
who can afford to go to a European to be prescribed for ; 
but the Kabirajis .and their friends for any ailment recom- 
mend them to take opium to begin with. 

4402. Has it never struck you that there was a differ- 
ence of tolerance depending upon race or climate or food, or 
the environment of Europeans on the one hand and of the 



inhabitants of India on the other ?— No. In Calcutta I 
have_ Fcen the greatest quantity taken by Europeans. The 
maximum I have seen has been taken by a Buropenn. 

4403. You have seen opium used in excess ? — I have. 

4404. To the injury of the health P-I cannot say ; that- 
I have not seen. 

4405. Then you merely consider excess from a specula- 
tive point of view P — Entirely, because I have not seen any 
injury to the health from opium in any respect. 

4406. Not in large quantities? — No. 

4407. Have you had experience amongst the poor na- 
tives, or among a rathei' better class P- I have. Members 
of this Commission, if they would come some morning un- 
known to nqe, and simply sit down and see the class of 
people for whom I prescribe daily, would be astonish- 
ed. They would see all classes, from the poorest coolie 
woman with her child to the richest n^itive in the country. 
They come during six or seven hours of the day, people of 
all classes, including wealthy Europeans. They all take 
their turn when I am dealing with sick people. I 
would gniirantee that on any one day you would see 
every class of Bengali, from the highest to the lowest, 
as well as Afghans and other up-country men like the 
Siklis, and also the poor unfortunate woman who will go 
and sell a piece of jewellery to come to me under some 
idea that I can do her good — she will come with her infant 
child to he prescribed for. You see that every day geing 
on, week by week, month by month, and year by year. 

4408. You say that when opium is taken in large quan- 
tities you have not seen mischief produced by it ? — No, I 
have not. 

4409. {Mr. Pease.) You say, " I can never tell an opium- 
eater by casually looking at him ; his habits and his 
appearance will not guide me. Of course I should know 
if I examined for this paiticular matter." In what way 
do you examine ? — If you examine the opium-eater you 
will find that the Iris dilates and the pupil becomes smaller ; 
that is from the effect of the opium upon the motor 
nerves. If I see a person with a contracted pupil, I imme- 
diately know that he takes opium or bhang, and then he 
tells me which it is. It is only from that that I am able 
to discover it — not from any emaciation or other appearance 
of that kind, but from a dilatation of the iris. 

4410. You have also said that without the use of opium, 
the vital returns from many parts of the country would 
be simply appalling. Will you tell us what parts of the 
country you have specially in view ? — I have travelled 
outside of Calcutta in the Eastern districts a good <leal, and 
I have seen the poor people there, my name being pretty 
well known amongst them. Many of the natives have 
constantly flocked to me, and the Kabirajis have come to 
speak about diseases. They have said to me : " Well, sahib, 
your quinine does nothing — it has no effect at all, but a little 
aphim (opium) has acted beneficially." That has been so 
particularly in cases of famine. If it were not for opium 
during famines I believe the death-rate would be ten-fold. 
It makes up to a certain extent for fond. Say that a 
person has one anna a day. (lam speaking now of starva- 
tion times ; these yieople do not spend anything on clothes.) 
Suppose a man to spend four pice for his family for food, 
they might yet be starving ; but if he spends one pice in 
opium and three pice in food they will pass through the 
famine until relief has come round. 

4411. Your answer to my question is "Eastern Ben- 
g'al " P — Yes, my information is from the records of the 
famine. I am in a position to get general information 
freely from well-informed parties. 

4412. An estimate was given to us yesterday that the 
number of opium consumers in Bengal would be about 2 
per cent, of the population ; do you agree with that es- 
timate P— I shnuld think that that was very far below the 
real figure. Mine are the sickly people ; I cannot tell you 
about fihe healthy people. Leaving out the Eurasian and 
European elements, I should say that, taking the natives of 
all classes, not less than 30 per cent, of the male native 
adults who come to me as sick people take opium ; I will not 
say how many more, as I have not gone into statistics. I 
see opium-eaters every day. Yesterday a wealthy zemindar 
came to me to be prescribed for. He was a man of high 
status. I naturally asked him, as I usually do: "Do 
you take opium P " — " Yes, " he replied. " How much P " I 
asked, " I take about two annas a day." That means sixteen 
grains, which is a very large quantity. That mnn is about 
fifty-five years of age, and he is a stalwart, powerful, healthy 
man. He came to me with regard to some ailment, 
and I did not consider it necessary to interfere at all with 
his opium-taking. 

02 



Dr. G. It. 

Ferris. 

29 Nov. 1893. 



108 



INDIAN OPITJ.M COMMISSION 



Dr. G. R. 

Ferris. 

29 Nov. 1893. 



4413. Youv estimate is 30 per cent, of tlie people who 
come to you as patients? —Yes— I say not less than that, 
it may be much more. I exelmie Eurasians and Europeans, 
and refer to the native male adults only. 

4414. These are people who have previously been in the 
habit of taking opium p — Yes, I am speaking only of them. 

4415. Are you aware of any distiller or brewer who hag 
ever joined the Anti-Opium agitation ? — I hnve not irone 
into that ; I stick to my profession. The informntion I have 
gathered has come naturally to me. This question has not 
come before me until I was asked on Sunday. I was once 
before asitedby aperson whether I would give evidence, and 
I declined. On Sunday I received a requisition, and then I 
said I would not decline. I hiivs not gone into this "matter 
in any form beyond what I have given you informiition 
about, as the result of my experience as a resident for forty 
years in India (which I have never left for a day) and 
having a constant knowledge of these people. 

4416. (Mr. Wilson.) I think you spoke of opium-eating 
as being peaceful ? — -Yes. 

4417. I think T have heard it said that it goes further, 
and that it sometimes makes them rather cowardly?— I 
have not seen it, and history proves the contrary. The 
Eohillas and Sikhs, who are opium-eaters, arfi amongst the 
most warlike and fearless men we have in India. 

4418. You have not seen thiit yourself? — No, certainly 
not ; I have never seen opium make them cowards. 

4419. Are you A member of the Calcutta Medical Socie- 
ty? — No. My time is so fully occupied that I have no 
time for it. I have been invited. 

4420. In reference to the dispensary practice, what are 
the fees for which Messrs. Scott Thomson & Co. permit 
the poorest people to come? — There are none. I treat 
them for nothing. Scott 'I'homson & Co. pay me as a 
medical man for giving advice there. In many cases the 
poor people get medicines for nothins;, or at the lowest 
figure. I receive no fee from the riuhest or poorest. I 
prescribe for these hundreds for nothing, as far as the 
patients are concerned. 

4421. I am ignorant of the customs of this country ; 
will you tell me whether the medicines also are supplied? — 
No. 

4422. They purchase the medioines ? — I prescribe for the 
patients, and the medicine is made up from my prescrip- 
tion. Scott Thom.-ion &, Co. have to deal with that. 

4423. The patients purchase the medicine ?— They have 
to pay for the medicine. 

4424. In a European establishment of that kind, would 
the cost of medicine be within the reach of the poorest 
people? — Yes. I have to use a certain amount of caution. 
If I require an expensive article for these poor people. I see 
if I cannot get a substitute for it. I use my discretion in 
these matters. 

4425. Speaking generally, do you think there is any 
necessity for any kind of further restriction in reference to 
the sale of opium in this country ? — Not the slightest. 

4426. Would you be in favor of anv increase in the 
facilities of getting it ? — I think the supply and the de- 
mand, after this Commission, will be greatly increased. 

4427. That was not my question. I asked whether 
you would be in favor of anything that would tend to 



increase the use of opium in this country ? — No ; I would al- 
low tliino'8 to shape themselves naturally, so that people 
who wanted opium might obtain it. 

442S. We had a witness yesterday who thonght it 
would be desirable that there should be fnither facilities, 
and he hoped to sie the consumption of opium inereasins; ; 
is that your view?— My view is that amongst the Bengalis 
it is so beneficial that I should prefer to see au incre.i3ed 
consumption rather than a decrease. 

4J29. IWy question is, are you in favor of increasing 
the facilities for the consumption of opium ? — I am. 

4430. You have stated that you noticed that the Sikhs 
had a special immunity from sea-sickness. Do you wish 
us to under-tand that you think opium is a useful remedy 
against sea-siikness ? — No, I do not bring it forward in 
that wav. I bring it forward as the starting-point of my 
first inquiry-, which induced me to take up this opium 
question. 

4-I-31. Do vou occasionally recommend alcohol for daily 
dietetic use? — There are certain cases of course where the 
stomach requires it. I do not order alcohol for a lieiilthy 
man and say—" You must take it ; " but medicinally I pre- 
scribe it. 

4432. I ask again, do you occasionally prescribe alcohol 
for daily dietetic uce?— Yes. 

4433. Do you do the same with regard to opium ? — Only 
in cases of di-^^ease. 

4434. Ho you prescribe it for daily dietetic use as you 
would alcohol ? — No. 

4435. Then jcm would not Ir<ik on opium, for Europeans 
at all events, as being of the same dietetic value as alcohol ? 
— Quite the opposite. 

4436. So far as the people of this country are concerned, 
do you say the same? Do you as a matter of fact prescribe 
opinra for daily dietetic use to the natives of India ? — I do 
not. 

4437. Then I suppose I may take it from your answers 
that you think there is a marked distinction between alcohol 
and opium for daily dietetic use? — Avery marked distinc- 
tion. 

4138. If you heard of a medical man so recommending 
opium for daily dietetic use, would you think that he was 
doing a safe thing or rather a dangerous thing ? — Before I 
could answer that question, I should want to know what that 
medical man had iu view before he prescribed the opium for 
dietetic use. 

4199. Did you ever hear of anv medical man that did s» 
prescribe it ? — Simply as an article of diet, no. ilediciually 
I would recommend it. 

4440. (Mr. Faiishawe.) I think \ou said yon had a re- 
quisition to attend heie ; will yon tell us what that commu- 
nicati<in was ? — If I wei the word " requisition, " I meant 
invitation. I was left a perfectly free agent. I was asked 
whether I would he willing to come. 

4441. (Sir William Roberts.) You have been asked 
whether yon ever heard of anj' medical man ordering opium 
as a dietetic ; have you ever heard of any medical man 
orderini; tobacco as a dietetic habit ? — Not as a dietetic, as 
a medicament I have known it. In bronchial and cbest. 
alieetions I have known it prescribed. 



The witness withdrew. 



Kolirajis 
C. P. Sen, 

U vpta, 
B. U Sen 

and Pear II 
Mohan S. n. 



KABTEAjia Ganoa Pbasad Sen Gupta, Bijata Ratna 

through a 

The following statement was read as the evidence of 
Kabiraj (Janga Prasad Sen Gupta : — 

4442. Opium is considered to be a beneficial medical 
ingredient, specially for the poorer classes of the various 
districts in this province. It has been generally found to 
be efficacious in bowel-oomplainls, asthma, rheumatism, 
diabetes, etc., which require a costly treatment, but opium 
alone, when used in such cases, proves a specific remedy 
by those who can ill afford to meet the expenses of the 
generally costly medical treatment. The use of opium alto 
enables persons to give up drinking liquor. 

4443. The moderate use of opium increases appetite, 
power of digestion, energy, and the habit of working. It 
also prevents premature oldness and increases vitality. 
From lime immemorial the native physicians have been 



Sen, and Peaky Mohdn Sen, called in and examined, 
n interpreter. 

using this article with other ingredients in innumerable- 
chronic casf'S with great success. Hoth the higher and lower 
classes, under these ciicumstances, use opium. 

4444. I do not think the use of opium degenerates the 
moral and physical condition of the people, though exces- 
sive consumption sometimes brings drowsiness, but such 
case-s are rare and found to exist in the lower classes onlv, and 
also in many cases in other classes io old age, when the doso 
is generally increased to obtain a staying power. 

444-5. Generally no one uses opium unless suffering 
from disea.se where its effects are marvellous, although some 
take it to keep up health and obtain staying power. 

414i5. In my opinion no one views with hatred the 
moderate consumption of opium like the use of other intoxi- 
cating ingredients, such as spirits or liquor, ganja, chai'as, 
chandu, goolee, etc. 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



109 



4117. The expense of using opium is generally met by 
the consumers themselves. This beinjj a poor country, 
the piohihition or restiiction of the traffic in opium by the 
intioduition of any heavier duty will bo keenly felt by the 
poorer classes of Her Majesty's subjects and make them 
starve. 

4448. Opium is very extensively used in this province, 
and as it is very dirticult to give it up when once habituated, 
it is difficult to prohibit the growth of the poppy and 
manufacture and sale of opium, and it is impossible to do 
eo. 

No change short of prohibition in the existing arraiij^e- 
meiits for regulating and restricting the opium traffic in 
Bengal is needed, but some measures slionld be adopted 
to discourage the manufacture and use o£ chandu, and 
gooli, which are made of opium and doing injury among 
the poorer classes to a great extent. 

4449. {Cliairman.) Does this statement represent the 
views of the other two witnesses? (The Interpi eler, after 
inqtiiri-ag fi'om them) — Yes. 

4450. [ notice that you recommend that some measure 
should be adopted to discourage the manufacture and use of 
chandu and gooli, which are made of opium and are doing 
injury among the poorer classes to a great extent. Would 
yon suggest to us what practical measures you would re- 
commend for the purpose of carrying out tlie reform which 
you think so desirable? — {The Interpreter.) Kabiraj Ganga 
Prasad Sen Gupta is of opinion tliat the habit whicli they 
contract of opium-smoking is a bad habit, more especially 
when they smoke in shops in company. The others a^ree 
in this opinion, hence they want to put a stop to the shops 
being kept open. If any one has contracted a habit of 
smoking, be should be allowed to smoke in his own home, 
not in a place where there will be a congregation of 
smokers. 

4451. They desire to see the abolition of smoking- 
shops ? — Yes. 

4452. Are all three in favour of the abolition of licenses 
for smoking opium and chandu on the premises ? — Yes. 

4453. In licensed shops ? — Yes. 

4154. (.The Maharaja of Darbhanga.) Would they have 
any objection to people smoking in their private homes, 
getting a number of people together, and forming a smok- 
ing club? —They object to people clubbing together and 
smoking opium. 

4455. Do they object to eight or ten men smoking to- 
gether in their own houBes madat and chandu p — Tliey say 
it is not a <;ood thing; it is not at all desirable, but when 
people buy opium and smoke in their own homes, no law 
would be able to restrict that. 

4456, {Mr. Wilson.) I should like to know if all the 
three gentlemen pre.ient practise what is called the Ayurvedic 
system of medicine P^They do. 

4457. Are there text-books and authorities on this subject 
which are accepted by them ? — -They say there are heaps of 
them. 

4458. Do those text-books express the opinions that the 
witnesses hold on this subject p— They say that they 
practise what is taught in their books, and in their experience 
they have found that what they have been taught in their 
books is quite correct. 

4459. When were those books written ? — They say that 
in Bhavapvahasha these views are distinctly laid down, and 
that book was written nearly eight hundred years ago. 

4460. And opium is mentioned in it ? — Yes. 

4461. Is that a book itself or a collection of books ? — It 
was a collection by Bhava Misra from several text-books. 



4462. (Mr. Harid'is Veharidas.) Are there .-my otl.ov 
books beside Bliavapr.ikasha in which the use oi opium is laid 
down p — They say there are many, viz., Kashendra Chan- 
drika, liasaraj Sundar, Jo^'achintamani, Kasendraohinta- 
mani, Rasendra Sarsangliraha, etc. 

4163. Are they of ancient date p — They say they are. 

4464. Is opium mentioned in Si'.shrntaP — They say Sush- 
ruta does not mention anything about opium. Tlie booUg 
which deal with opium are of ancient dale. Hhavaprakasha 
was edited eight hundred years ago. Charakaisof a more 
ancient date still. 

4465. Is opium mentioned in Rajnighanta and Nighan- 
tap— They sjiy, yes. 

4466. Is there also a work called Nighanta Ratnakar p — 
They say, je^. Opium is mentioned there. Opium is men- 
tioned in the most ancient works, Charaka treats only of 
meiliciniil oils and medicines prepared from the juice of 
plants. Susbrnta is a hook mostly on surgery and anatomy. 
Harit deals with medicine, but there is no mention of opium 
in it. Bogbhata is also a Tcry ancient bonk, more ancient 
tlian the others, and opium is mentioned in it. Easa- 
ba^ibhatis nearly two thousand years old. 

4167. What authiM-ity is there for saying that the Bha- 
vapiaUasha is eight hundred years old ? — They say that 
Chakrapani edited some books during the Fal dynasty 
which is nearly a thousand years old. In Bhavaparakasha 
Cliakrapani is mentioned, henoe Bhavaprakasha must be of 
later origin. 

4468. What is said about o)iium P — Ganga Prasad Sen 
Gufita has a quotation from Bhavaprakasha in Sanskrit 
which he put in with the following translation ; 

" The different names of poppy-heads are : — 
Tilbheda, Khastila and Khakhasa. 
Its juice is called opium. 

(1) It is absorbant. It excites the function of the 
lymphatic system, i.e., it dries up the watery portion of the 
tissues. For this reason it is applied externally in the 
following diseases as al:sorbant, vii., Eadema, swelling and. 
inflammation, and rheumatism, etc. 

(2) It is astrinjrent, i.e., it diminishes and checks the 
secretion almost of all the organs, and so it is used in 
diarrhcea, dysentery, diabetes, gonorrhoea and hsemorrhages. 

(3) It checks the bronchial secrdtion, and so it is used in 
diiferent kinds of lung diseases, viz-, asthma, pulmonary 
phthisis and bronchitis. 

(i) It increases biliousness, i.e., the biliary secretion of 
the liver is checked, and so the effete matters which would 
have otherwise been eliminated through bile, accumulate in 
the blood and produce body-beat ; and it is excitant to th© 
nervous system. It produces nervousness and excites the 
brain. It is diaphoretic, i.e., increases perspiration. 

(5) It is a sort of poison, and according to the Shaslras it, 
in combination with other drugs, produces longevity and 
prevents decay and death." 

4469. {Mr. Fanshawe.) Are these gentlemen Brahraans p — 
They are not Brahmans, they are Vaidas ; they come next ta 
the Brahmans. 

4470.- Are they hereditary Kabirajis ? — They are here- 
ditary practitioners — physicians. 

4471. {Mr. Pease.) Do they use modern books ? — 
They say no hook on medicine in Sanskrit has been written 
lately, ani therefore they do not use any. 

4472. AVhat is the most modern book they use, and 
what is its date? — They say that the latest book on the 
Hindu system of medicine is Rasendra Parsan£;hralia, and 
even that is not less than six or seven hundred years old. 



h'abirajit 
a. p. -lea 

Q-upta, 

B. M Set!., 

and Peary 

MoKun Sen. 

29 N"v. 1893. 



The witnesses withdrew. 



Adjourned till to-morrow at 10-80. 



no 



INDIAN OPIUM COMMISSTOIT : 



At the Council Chamber, Writers' Baildings, Calcutta. 



SIXTEENTH DAY. 

Thursday, 30th November 1893. 



The Eight Honoueabie LORD BRASSEY, K.O.B. (Chaieman, pbesiding). 



Sib James Ltall, G.C.I.E., K.C S.I. 

„ WlHIAM RoBEETS, M.D. 

Me. R. G. C. Mowbeat, 11. P. 

,, A. U. Eanshawb. 



Mb. Aethue Pease. 
„ IIabidas Vehabidas Desai. 
„ H. J. Wilson, M.P. 



Me. J. Peescdtt Hettett, C.I.E., Secretary. 
Mr. SuDAM Chundee Naie, Assistant Superintendent, Tributary States, Orissa, called in and examined. 



Mr. Sudam 
CJiunder 

' 4473. {Mr. Fanshawe.) Will you tell us to what district 

30 Nnv. 1893. you belong P — I come from Orissa, and I belong to the dis- 
trict of Cattack. 

4474. Is that your native district p — No; I am a resident 
of the Balasore district. 

4475. How long have you been in the Cuttack district?— 
I have been in the Cuttack district for the last 22 j'eavs. 

4476. Iq Government employ ? — I have been in Gov- 
ernment employ for the last 17 or 18 years. 

4477. I believe your experience extends not only to the 
Cuttack district proper, but also to tbe Tributary States? — 
Yes, and also to the districts of Balasore and Puri. 

4478. How many years' experience have you had in the 
Balasore district ? — About two years in the Balasore district, 
and about six mouths in Puri. 

4479. The rest of your time has been spent in the 
Cuttaok^district ? — Yes. 

4480. The Tributary Mahals are the low-lying hills 
between the country of Cuttack and Central India, I be- 
lieve ? — Yes, that is so. 

4481. Is that where you now hold your appointment ? — 
Yes. 

4482. In these Tributary States there is some amount of 
cultivation in the valleys, is there not P — Yes, paddy culti- 
vation, and also the cultivation of other cereals, 

4483. By whom is that carried on ? — It is oaiTied on hy 
all classes of people. 

4484. To what race do they belong ; are they largely 
Ooryas? — Yes, and also aborigines. 

4485. Ooryas are Hindus, speaking the Oorya language? 
—Yes. 

4486. Are there aboriginal tribes living amongst the hills 
and jungk'S in the Tributiiry States? — Yes. 

4487. Will you tell us what you know about the habit of 
opium-eating among these people : first with reference to 
the people living in the low-lying lands, and then with 
reference to the people in the hill tracts?— I may say 
that, both as a Government officer and as a resident of 
that province, I possess some knowledge of the nature 
and habits of the people, not only of Orissa proper, but 
of its hill tracts known as the Gujarat or the Tributary 
Mahals. So far as my knowledge extends, I can say that 
the consumption of opium by the people of my province has 
had no had effect on them either morally or physically. On 
the contrary, I know people taking opium for 20 years or 
more to have kept very good health. They never use 
opinm for non-medical purposes. At least I have no 
knowledge of this, though opium-smoking is resorted to by 
some for pleasure or for other purpose, an excess indulgence 
of which leads to some mischief. But such oases are 
few. 



4488. Can you tell us whether this habit is common 
among the people ? — I cannot say that it is common. 

4489. What information can yon give us about that? 
— The percentage perhaps varies from 5 to 10 percent. 

4490. Among the adult population? — Yes. 

4491. Can you tell us at what age the people, so far as 
you know, take to this habit P— People take to the habit after 
they are 40 years of age ; and there are some also who take 
to it after they are 20 : but speaking generally they take 
to it after they are 35 or 40. 

4492. Speaking generally, can you tell us what is the 
ordinary sort of dose, the ordinary amount of opinm that is 
taken p— They would not take more than two grains a day 
on tbe average. There are others of course who take it in 
excess ; but on an average they do not take more than two 
grains. 

4493. Can you tell us whether this opium is taken in the 
morning or in the evening p What is the habit in reference 
to that? — It is taken both in the morning and in the 
evening. 

4494. I9_ it also taken during the day ?— No, as a rule 
it is taken in the morning and evening only. 

4495. Among the people who take opium is there any 
tendency to increase the dose, so far as your knowledge 
goes ? — No. 

4496. You have already stated ttiat yon consider it has 
no bad effect upon them morally or physically ? — That is 
so. 

4497. Have you anything to say with reference to a class 
of people called Pans: are they an aboriginal tribe p— Yes; 
they live in the Tributary States and also in tbe plains. 
They are known as a criminal class, 

4498. What do you wish to say about them p— Of a 
class of people called Pins, known as the criminal class 
in^ some of the hill States, [ can .say that seldom a 
Pan takes opium, and I never saw one who committed any 
crime the cause of which could be attributed to his habit 
of opium-eating. I may here state that opium has, on the 
other hand, a very deterrent effect on crime. Of all people, 
opium-eaters and opium-smokers have a terrible dread of jail, 
which deprives them of the free and timely use of the drug, 
and it is an intoxication which brooks no delay. 

4499. Do these aboriginal tribes use opium ? — A 
few. 



very 



as far as you 
-They take to 



4500. Do they indulge in country liquor ?— Yes ; they do. 

4501. Can you tell us for what reason, 
know, people take to this opium habit ? 
it for medicinal purposes. 

4502. What do you mean by that?— I mean by that that 
they take it for bowel-complaints, fever, and for a disease 
known in this country as elephantiasis, awellincr of the legs 
and hands and the sympathetic fever which comes from it. 



MINDTES OF EVIDENCE. 



Ill 



Opiam is taken to prevent the people from getting those 
diseases, and it is also taken for dysentery. 

4503. Is elephantiasis common in your country ? — Yea. 

4504. In Cuttaok and in the Tributary Mahals is this 
opium habit regarded as disgraceful ? — It is not disgrace- 
ful. 

4505. How is it regarded, in what light do the people 
look upon it ? — The people are rather indifferent to the 
matter. They do not think ill in any way of a man who 
takes opium. They do not think that he has disgraced 
himself by it, unless a man is found to smoke it exces- 
sively. 

4506. I am speaking of eating for the moment. — Eat- 
ing opium is regarded rather indifferently. 

4507. Does the habit extend to women as well as to men 
so far as your information goes? — It extends to women, 
but it is the exception. Very few, as far as I know, take 
it. 

4508. What would be the general feeling, so far as you 
know, with regard to prohibiting the use of opium P — With 
every deference to the Commission, I should say that it 
will not only be highly impolitic, but extremely unwise to 
introduce any prohibitive measure for the suppression of 
consumption either entirely or to a limited extent. People 
of my country are not and will not be prepared to bear in 
whole or in part the loss of revenue that wo\ild inevitably 
be the result of such a measure, giving thereby a rise to 
widespread discontent. 

4509. Have you any remarks to make with regard to the 
licensing system ? — No ; except to say that I do not consider 
the existing system to be bad in any way. I think the 
Government has prescribed a very good method of restric- 
tion, both with regard to the sale of raw opium and smoking 
opium. 

4510. What can you tell us about opium-smoking in this 
district ; is it commonly practised ? — It is not common. 
Of course there are people who do smoke, but I cannot say 
it is common. 

4511. What do they smoke p — They smoke only opium. 

4512. In what form — what is it called P — Gooli or 
madak. Chandu is not common in our part. 

4513. Can you tell us what is the opinion with regard to 
smoking gooli or madak ? — The opinion is not in favour of 
it. 

4514. Is there any other point you would like to men- 
tion ? I heard Dr. Morison state yesterday that Cuttack 

is not a malarious district. Perhaps he meant the town 
proper. If he -meant the district I should not agree with 
him, for I think there are certain parts of the country 
which are malarious. 

4515. You wish to state, as far as your knowledge goes, 
that certain parts of the Cuttack district are malarious ?— 
Yes. 

4516. And certain parts are not malarious ?— Only 
Cuttack town and within a radius of 7 or 8 miles. 

4517. And are the tracts known as the Tributary Mahnls 
regarded as malarious ? — Yes. 

4518. {Mr. Mowhray.) You have told us that the people of 
Orissa never use opium for non-medical purposes ; will you 
explain what you mean bv non-medical purposes P— I mean 
that after a certain age the people of my country take it 
for the sake of their health— if they are weak, or have any 
complaint, such as a bowel-complaint, fever, rheumatism, 
dysentery or something of that sort, or if they live in the 
malarious parts, such as in the northern part of the Bala- 
sore District. 

4519 Do you mean they take it because the doctor 
advises them to take it, or because they think it themselves 
a good remedy p— It is commonly known in our part of the 
country, and the native physicians prescribe it. 

4520 What number of European medical men are there 
in Orissa? Can you give me any idea P— The number would 
not be more than half a dozen, I think. 

4521. Can you tell what is the population of Orissa ?— In 
the plains they are Brahmins and other high castes, such as 
Karans, iMohfoaeks and Khandfits, and there are agricui- 
turists. 

4522. Can you tell roe how many opium shops there are 
in Orissa ? — I cannot exactly say. 

4523 What is the price of opium in Orissa now P— The 
Government price, i.e., the upset price is 32 rupees per seer ; 
it is sold in the ba^ar. varying from 10 to 12 annas per tola, 
which is equal to 180 grams. 



4624. That is the price at which the Government supplies Mr. Sudam 
it to the vendors p — Yes. Chunder 

4525. Do you think that if the number of shops in the ^^; 
Cuttaok District was further reduced, the people would be gg jjov. 1893. 

able to get opium when they wanted it for medical purposes ? 

— No, I do not think they would be able, because the Gov- 

einment takes good care to reduce the number, and to fix 
the number too. The local officers know whether to increase 
the number or decrease it. 

4526. (Mr. Wilson) Will you kindly tell me what 
your duties are as Assistant Superintendent ? — I am Assist- 
ant to the Superintendent of the Tributary Mahals, who 
is Commissioner of the Orissa Division. I assist him in all 
executive work and in correspondence. I also try criminal 
cases, boundary dispvites, and make inquiries in succession 
cases. I am a Deputy Magistrate with powers of a Magistrate 
of the 1st class and powers of a Sessions Judge in the Tribu- 
tary Mahals. 

4527. With reference to the medical use of opium, are 
you aware that no one has objected or challenged the 
medical use p — No ; I ain not aware of that. 

4528. The question which this Commission is dis- 
cussing is chiefly the dietetic use, apart from disease, and 
in the questions I am about to ask you, I shall be obliged 
if you will not refer to the medical use but to the dietetic 
use. Generally do I understand you to say that smoking 
is not a goou thing P — Yes. 

4529. Do respectable people smoke ? — They do some- 
times. 

4530. But it is not considered respectable ? — No ; smok- 
ing is not considered respectable. 

4531. What is the general opinion of respectable people 
in youi' part of the country, in reference to smoking 
chandu .P — Chandu is not prevalent in my part of the 
country. 

4532. Is it not used P — It is not used. 

4533. What is the opinion with regard to smoking 
gooli P — The opinion is that it is not good. 

4534. People do not approve of it P — They do not. 

4535. Do I understand you to say that people do 
approve of eating opium ? — I do not say they approve of 
it ; I say the people are indifferent about it. If anybody 
eats opium, they would not think ill of him. 

4536. I am not sure whether you stated distinctly which 
parts of the district you consider the most malarious? — 
The most malaiinus parts are the western and eastern parts 
of the Cuttack district, and the north and eastern parts of 
the Bfilasore district, as well as certain parts of the Puri 
district, and also some of the hill States which form politi- 
cally the western part of the district of Cuttaok. 

4537. Do you know anything about the proportion of the 
consumption of opium in those different districts P — No. 

4538. Do you know in which district the largest quan- 
tities of opium are consumed? — The largest quantity is 
consumed in the Balasore district. 

4539. Do you know in which district the least is con- . 
suniedp— In the district of Puri and the Tributary Mahals, 
which forms part of the Cuttack district. 

4540. Do you think there is any relation between the 
consumption of opium and the prevalence of malaria in 
those proportions? —I think there is, because in the 
Balasore district proportionately, the population being less 
than that of Cuttack, people consume opium largely. 

4541. Do the European medical men recommend people to 
take opium regularl3' p — I am not aware that they do. 

4542. Do you know if the native physicians recommend 
it P— Yes, they do. 

4543. Do Indian medical practitioners recommend people 
to take opium regularly to prevent attacks of fever? — Yes, 
not only fever, but in other diseases too. Tliey recommend 
it for rheumatic fever, but I do not know whether it is re- 
commended for malarious fever or not. 

4544. I want to know, not whether they give it as a 
remedy when a man has fever, but whether they recom- 
mend it to be taken regularly as a preventative ? — The 
physicians recommend it as a preventive, 

4545. Who are these people that are called Prfns ; are 
they a tribe or caste P — Tbey are an aboriginal tribe and 
they almost form a caste. 



112 



INDIAN OPIUM COJtMISSIO^T 



J/f. iSudam 

C/t under 

Naik. 

30 Nov. 1893. 



4516. In wKat spirit aro they apeoially criminal? — Tiicy 
are robbers and thieves. 

45.17. {Chairman.) May I take it that you meant to tell 
us that from 5 to 10 per cent, of the population of your 
district use opium for non-medical purposes? — Yes; of 
Course it includes others who may take it for pleasure : I 



mean a larger proportion of that number take it for medi- 
cal purposes. 

4518. You have referred to cases of what you called ex- 
cessive imlulj;enoe. Ave those oases numerous amonij your 
po|iulation?— No; they are not numerous ; they are few 
and far between. 



The witness withdrew. 



Mr. Gavree 
SvnTtnr Hoy. 



Mk. Gotjeee Scnkub Rot called in and examined. 



4049. (il/)'. Fanshaice.) Are you a resident of the 
Cutt:ick district ? — Yes. 

4550. Are you in any way connected with the Govern- 
ment? — Yes, I was formerly a translator in the Judge's 
Couit at Cuttack. 

4551. I believe you are now a pensioned servant ? — Yes. 

4552. Where are ynu livinij now? — Cuttack. 

4553. Has your expeiience been entirely in the Cuttack 
distiict ? — In the Cuttuck district entirely. 

4554. Tell us what you know about the habit of eating 
opium in that district as far as your experience goes ; is it 
common p — Opinm is largely consumed in the district of 
Cuttack, of wliich I am an inhabitant, but I have nut 
noticed any maiked ill-effect on the physical or moral 
condition of those who use it The generality of opinm- 
eaters take it molerately, and they not only keep good 
health and enjoj' long life, but are as sober and well be- 
haved as those who do nut take it. I have seen some of 
my friends restored to good health after long suffering by 
taking opium. There is no doubt some persims abuse it by 
indulging in excessive smoking for pleasure or immoral 
purposes, and suffer in consequence in he ilth and reputa- 
tion. Some persons are giving up the habit of drinking by 
resorting to opium. 

4555. Do you mean by resort to opium-smoking or to 
eating ? — 'ihey used to drink liquor first, and they gave it 
up by eating opium. 

4556 You say this habit is fairlv common: can you tell 
us what quantity is generally taken, — how many grains ? 
Have you anj' knowledge on that subject ? — Those who use 
it moderately take about hidf a pire or one pice worth of 
opium a diiy. Most people take less than one pice worth : 
that would be the average amount. 

4557. Cau you tell us whpn they take it ? — In the morn- 
ing. Some t.ike it once a day and some twice a day 

morning and evening. 

4558. Do any take it in the evening only, or is it taken 
in the mornins; ? Wliich would be the general piactice ? — - 
JMost people take it only in the evening ; others take both 
morning and evening. 

4559. Can you tell us at what age the opium habit is 
generally acquired,— opinni-eating ? — After twenty. Many 
take to it alter thirty-five or forty ; but some take to it 
after twenty. 

45fJ0. Sppjiking generally, among habitual opium-eaters 
what would the age be ? — About thirty. 

4561. Have you any knowledge of women eating 
ojuum? — Yes but they have been very few in number. 

4562. They would be women among the cultivating 
classes ; is that what you mean ? — 'I'here are very few women 
among the cultivating classes who take opium. 

4563. Are the women who to your knowledge take opium 
among the artisan class in towns? — They aie seen in the 
towns only. 

4564. You have known some cases perhaps of people taking 
opium in excess ; are those cases common or not iir your 
experience? —It is difficult to make out an excessive opium- 
eater. 

4565. Is it at all common for people to take ooium in 
exCfSS ?— I have known some )iersons take as much as 
2 annas worth of opium every day. They tiike it to excess. 

4566. When yon say excess, do you mean it causes them 
harm, — that it injures then- health ? — No, I have never 
seen an opium-eater suffer in health except who is too poor. 

4567. What do you mean when you say they take it to 
excess ?— They take it in Lirge quantities. 

4568. In your district how i.s this habit of taking opinm 
generally regarded? — Opium-eating is generally excused. 
People do not think ninch of it. Of course taking it to in- 
toxicatiun is niiarilcd as a had thing. 



4569. That is the view of the people in 3-our district ? — 
Yes; but they tolerate opium-eating. 

4570. Can you tell us anything about the tendency to 
increase the dose among people who eat opium habitually ; 
is there a tendency to take larger doses ? — Yes ; but it is 
very exceptional. 

4571. Most of the people who eat opium habitually do 
not increase the dose; is that j'our experience? — Yes. 

4572. For what purpose do they take opium ? — They 
mostlj' lake it for the sake ■ f their health. 

4573. Will you tell us what you mean by that?— It is 
the prevalent opinion that if a man tal<e8 opium he keeps 
good health. 1 have seen some people who have suffered 
most severely. One man that I know tried all soits of 
medicines but he could not get any relief. Afterwards 
some of his friends advised him tc take opinm. He took it 
and he is now all right, and has been so for the last ten 
years. 

4574. Ts it used among the people as a domestic remedy, 
that is what I want to know? — Yes, it is both eaten and 
used as an external application. 

4575. ^or what class of disease or suffering do the people 
use it ?— For bowel-complaiats, inflammatory fever and ele- 
phantiasis. 

4576. Is there any belief among the people of Cntlack 
that the taking of opium protects them against fever.'^ 
Yes,— inflammatory fever. That is a very comuion belief. 
Ally one who gets that disease is always advised to take 
opium. 

4577. Have you anything further to say p— At one 
time there was much tendency to use opium for non- 
medical purposes. It is not so now, and the consumption 
o£ opium is on the decrease. I attribute this to the bene- 
ficial meiiBur, s taken by Government to check its consump- 
tion, especially the prohibition of smoking in licensed 
shops. Such being the case no more piohibitory measures 
arccalhdfor, and therefore any additional taxation for 
the puri ose of meeting the cost thereof would be regarded 
as a great inju.--tice and grievance by the people who feel the 
burden of taxation heavily and are too poor to pay more. 
The very suggestion has alarmed the people, and thev wonder 
that while such an injurious intoxicant as alcohol is freely 
sold and imported, they should be c.dled upon 'o pay f(ir 
prohibiting the use of opium which many resort to, 
to give up the habit of drinking, and which is' admittedly 
benelicial in several diseases. 

4578. You say that there was a tendency to use opium 
for non-medical purposes : what do mean by " non-medical 
purposes " ? — For luxury. 

4579. Is it within your knowledge that opium is also 
used as a stimulant ? — Yes. 

i, ■^f ?. ^■'' 'i ".^"'^ "\*'''^ ^"y "^'"O"- '^'^^ poo™' classes, or 
the better-oti classes p— Among the better-oflT classes as well 
as among the artisan class. After they have finished their 
day's business they go to the madak shop and smoke there. 

4581. In your previous answer were you referring to 
op.um-eating, or to opium-smoking ?— I was referring 
to both. ^ 

4582. You say that opium is used as a luxury or indul- 
geiice among some of the better-off classes P— Yes. 

4583 If opium were prohibited except for medical pur- 
poses, do you think that the people in Cuttack will be able 
to obtain It as a domestic remedy,- what are vour views as 



regards that ? Do you thuik there would be any difficultv 
rn tl,eu- getting ,t for the purposes for which you say i"t 
,s used ?-If they can get ,t for medical purposes nobody 
would mmd prohibition as far as other purposes are con. 



4584. Can you give us any opinion as to how the people 
111 the villages would obtain th - ' '•' ■ ■ 

they want, if it were pr.hibited 
ho. 



opium which you think 
except I'or medical use ?— 



MINUTES OF EVIDENCE. 



113 



4585. {Mr, Wihon.) I do not quite iinJevstand your 
Ojiinidn about smoking opium. You my that the Govern- 
ment have taken beneficinl measures to check the consump- 
tionof opium, and espeoinUj the prohibition of smoking 
in licensed shops, and tliat such being the case, no more 
prohibitory measures are called for. But at the end of 
yoHT printed statement you say you would like to see 
further restrictive measures in regard to opium-smok- 
ing?— Yes. 

4586. I do not understand that. What do you meanP — 
I mean that the prohibition of smoking in licensed shops 
has been one beneficial measure, but since tliat prohibition 
some people gatliered in private places, and tlieve tiiey 
smoked. If that could be checked, it would be still better. 
That is what 1 mean. 

4587. You would like to see some prohibition of that P — 
Yes. 

4588. What I do not understand is, vvhy you say no more 
prohibition is necessary p — I mean as regards the sale in 
licensed shops. 

4589. I think you said that the cultivators do not take 
much p — I live in the interior of the district sur- 
lOunded V>y cultivators. They do not take much : it is the 
artisan class that take the most. 

4590. Do the cultivators live in malai-ious districts? — 
Yes. 

4591. And they do not take much opium ? — No. 

4592. I think you said that the women do not take much 
opium P — That is so. 

4593.- Are they less liable to malaria than the men P — 
No. 



4594. You say that the very suggestion that the people Mr. Oouree 
would have to bear the burden of taxation has alarmed them Sunkur Boy. 
already ?— Yes. 

4595. Who made that suggestion, where did you get that " 
from ? — It has been talked about that opium would be 
abolished, aud that the people would have to pay the cost 

of it. 

4596. Do you know who started it P — No, it was 
rumoured. 

4597. Do you know Mr. Jogon Mohon Eoy? — 1 know 
him very well. 

4598. He was a Deputy Collector, I believe P — Yes. 

4599. Are you aware of his views on the subject? — I 
know he belongs to the Total Abstinence Society. 

4600. He says that using opium "is regarded as a curse 
by all except, of course, tliose that are eaters or siiokers of 
the drug." Js he quite wrong ? — 1 do not think he is quite 
right. 

4601. With reference to some questions that were put to 
you about the domestic use, supposing that the mode of sale 
was altered, would it be possible in the villages of your 
pait of the country to have suitable persons appointed to 
Sell it who sliould get no profit themselves out of the sale, 
and who should have a certain discretion as to its sale for 
medicine and not for intoxication? — It would be very 
difficult to get such men. 

4602. Do you think it would be impossilde? — Perhaps so. 
I do not see how such men could be fouoi in the villages. 

4603. With reference to the use of opium against 
malarial fever, do any doctors, either European or Indians, 
recommend it to be taken regularly as a preventive against 
fever ? — I am not aware of doctors giving such an opiuion. 



The witness withdrew. 



Mr. BhagbaN Chundeb Dabs called in and examined. 



4604. {Chairman) I believe you are a resident of 
Orissa, a native of that country, and belong to a family of 
landholders p— Yes. 

, 4605. You therefore may claim to possess considerable 
knowledj;e of the people of Orissa P — Yes. 

4606. Will you tell us if opium is extensively consumed 
by the people of Orissa for medical use or as an article 
of diet P — I am of opinion that the consumption of 
opium has not resulted in anv bad effect on the moral 
or physical condition of my people. They use it for medicine 
and to avoid other climatic influences, as I know people 
of Balasore do it. It unfortunately someti-Ties happens 
that excessive use of it, not in its raw state, but when 
converted into some other prep irations, such as madak or 
chandu, leads to some mischievous results. But of what 
I know, such cases are proportionately very small. If at 
all necessary, some restrictions might be put on certain 
preparations of opium, such as midak, chandu, morphia, 
etc. 

4607. What lestrictiona would you suggest ?— I would 
stop the public sale of madak and chandu. 

4608. How do you compare the effects of the use of opium 
with alcohol p— Opium is not such a mischievous drug as 
alcoholic drink, more especially Kuropean alcohols. 

4609. Do you consider that it cannot be fairly said that 
the use of opium leads to crime ? — Opium-eating is not as 
bad as drinking strong wine. 

4610. Po you approve of the proposal which has been put 
before us. that the use of opium should be prohibited for any 
purposes other than medical P— I cannot recommend its pro- 
hibtion. It is a necessity, and its prohibition will be disas- 
trous. The people of my country are extremely poor and have 
to pay taxes in various shapes, and their bearing any portion 
of the cost is out of the question. 

4611. iMr. Wilson.) Would you be at all in favor of pro- 
hibiting the use of alcohol P— Yes. 

4612. (Mr. Fanshawe.) In what district has your expe- 
rience been P — In the I'alasore district. 

4613. Is there a large consumption of opium in that 
district P — Yes. 

4614. I believe you have no large towns in Balasore ? — 
Balasore town is not larger than Cuttack. 

4615. I believe the population is almost entirely composed 
of cultivators ?— Yes, cultivators and official men also. The 
use of opium would be among the cultivating class. 

' Eheumatic pains are prevalent in the Balasore district. 



4616. For what class of ills is opium taken ? — Opium is 
taken for rheumatism, elephantiasis, inflammatory 'fevers, 
bowel complaints, and dysentery.' 

4617. Is elephantiasis very common in your district? — Yes_ 

4618. Speaking generally, can you tell us at all what 
proportion of the population suffer from it P — About 
one-fouith of the population. 

4619. I suppose rice is the ordinary staple of food in 
Balasoi-e P — Yes. 

4620. Dr. Walsh, Civil Surgeon of Puri, told ns the other 
day that some forms of rice are bad and cause diarrhoea to 
the natives who eat it; but that the poor people are obliged 
to eat it : is that the case in Balasore P — It may he. 

4631. Do you know that of your own experience P — No. 

4622. In your district I suppose some parts are healthy 
and some parts are unheal'thy p — The nonhern part oE 
Balasore is malarious ; fever is prevalent there. 

4623. And are other parts healthy ? — Healthy ; but 
rheumatic pains are prevalent throughout the district. 

4624. In your own experience is opium-eating more 
common in the parts where malarious fever is present than 
in other parts ?